He doesn't want to deal with this right now, he's so tired - but he looks up anyway. That's the first time he sees him, black eyes burning with a sharp anger that made him feel more broken than he already was. What the hell is that mess? What the hell did you make? He's shouting at him now. He doesn't need a reminder of his mistake. So he looks away. And Al's armour cuts in, apologizes for him. God, he loves Al. He loves Al so much – and look what he's done to him.
The man is a lieutenant colonel. The table is the only thing he looks at as he listens to what he's saying – National alchemist… access to more information… - and he briefly wonders what's the point of this, what's the point of offering such a thing to a broken child – … may be able to find something to return you back to normal –
– and suddenly he can feel that same flame of determination light up again, brighter than before, brighter than it's every been and it's threatening to consume him where he sits. He has a chance. He almost wants to head over to the man – Mustang, was it? Pfft, that was an idiotic name. He could feel his old self returning now – slowly, creeping even, but it was a steady climb. He wants to hug the colonel, but that's a childish thing to do. And he's no child.
But he allows himself just one glance at the man. One glance, where in the split second of coincidence, black and gold meet, both equal in the tenacity of their flames. And in the split second, both of them know that a decision's been made. He would be a state alchemist. They would meet again. Edward feels grateful to this man – not that he shows it – but for some reason, he had a nagging feeling that Roy Mustang would become more important someday, more important than whatever he seemed to be now.
He sees him on the steps. Colonel Mustang, now – the shortness of it makes it so much easier to insult (That doesn't apply to him. It. Does not. Because he is not short.) and with the number of additional expletives added to his vocabulary added in the last year, all the better. Are you ready for this? An imitation of a dog seemed to be enough of a reply. Then he sees that smirk. Fuck, how can one facial expression be so irritating?
The bastard colonel is watching from the sidelines, and a man with an eye patch enters the examination hall. From the man beside him, he finds out that he's the highest ranked official in the military. Do you have the tools to draw an alchemy circle? He's asked. "I don't need that kind of thing." And he proceeds clap. Blue sparks erupt from where his hands touch the ground, and he allows himself one glance – just like last time – at Mustang's face. Surprise was the only expression there, and he's satisfied. And after that –
The rest is history.
Thirteen. Fourteen. Fifteen.
Years pass quickly. The philosopher's stone is their quest now, and there are too many fakes in this world. Too many fakes, and liars, and monsters. And the monsters need not be real, they can be human – but the most twisted, and sick kind of human. People like Shou Tucker. People who believe that they can play God – People like him.
But he has to go on, for their sake. (But really, in his head, it's all for Al. Everything's for Al. Al who is stuck in that suit of armor because of him and every time he sees it he tries hard to ignore that heavy weight of guilt in his gut and on his shoulders, just pressing him into the ground and making him want to crawl into a corner and rot, for all he cares — but he has to keep on standing for Al. For himself, maybe, but really for Al.)
Then – whoosh. Teenage hormones come in their droves and decide to have a picnic in his body. Al, in a suit of armour – no, who is the suit of armour, does not have teenage hormones. He does not understand that his brother needs little bits of 'alone time' to pacify his libido, and fuck, explaining those kinds of things to your little brother is just – embarrassing.
But there are many degrees of embarrassing. And explaining his, err, needs to his brother is just scraping the surface. The most embarrassing things are crushes, and crushes with hormones are almost the worse. Crushes with hormones on a certain dark-haired and dark-eyed military superior are the worst. Fuck, he can't even look at Mustang without all kind of fantasies popping into his head and breeding like bunnies. So he shouts and shouts and scowls, and insults Mustang every chance he gets because if the man ever find out he would just – die.
He would fucking bury himself under layers and layers of concrete and clay and cement and if he's still not dead, he would fucking stab himself to death cause' all that would be better than Mustang's reaction to his cravings. Damnit, out of all the people in the universe, why him? Why not Winry, or heck, even Havoc? But no, his libido decided on a male, thirty year old, military colonel who annoys the fuck out of him on a daily basis.
They're close – so close. He can almost feel his limbs just in reach; he can almost feel Al, just a few millimeters away from the tips of his fingers. They're so close in their research – fuck the philosopher's stone. His brain has always been enough. They were so close – in a year, maybe two, he would be able to hug his little brother again, with two limbs, stand with two real legs, walk together along the Risembool path just like they did when they were kids.
But the hormones are – still there. And fuck it, it's supposed to be a passing teenage phase, it's not supposed to get stronger with time. And aren't you supposed to have multiple crushes or something? Cause' libido didn't seem to be focusing on anything other than Mustang Mustang Mustang fucking Mustang.
He dreads going to the man's office now, even if it's for small mission briefs – make him wonder, what kind of underwear does Mustang have? Just the thought of the man without his uniform made him want to drool all over the floor. Maybe it would escape out the door. Wait no, dammit; this hormone thing was getting out of control. But the worst thing of all – it seemed that Mustang was finally starting to take notice.
And what was more frightening than that was that Mustang seemed to be reciprocating.
He could see it in the little way he acted around the office – he wasn't blind. The lingering glances, the contact the lasted just a few milliseconds longer than it should when passing files, the way Mustang seemed slightly more protective and worried when he got injured during a mission, and the way he seemed angry when he hid those injuries.
God – if there is one out there – help him. Because he could not handle this. Monsters, criminals, physco alchemists and all alike he could handle, but not this. Not this burning fire in his chest and the way it thumped wildly, making him want to clutch his heart when he saw Mustang, and definitely not the way it seemed to be reflected in the man's dark eyes.
Fuck, he was going crazy.
He got Al back.
He got Al, he got his brother, god, fuck it, he got his brother back. All those years, every bloody encounter and every time he collapsed from exhaustion, every time he wounded up in the hospital banged and bruised, every time was completely worth it. It didn't even matter that he didn't get his limbs back, it didn't fucking matter, because from the very beginning, it was for Al. And Al in flesh was more beautiful than he had ever been when he was small because now he could finally live like a normal teenage boy. Finally, finally, finally.
And with his watch thrown onto the table, he grinned at Mustang – for once, his hormones weren't here to interrupt the moment, because for once, he was happy enough that everything else just didn't matter. And he knew that he would never feel as happy as he was now, leaving the military and joining his brother. Never, never, never –
Then he saw the way those black eyes somehow darkened – how can black become darker? – and his grin disappeared. But the shadow left as quickly as it came, and Mustang's back went as straight as a ruler as he grasped the watch in one hand, and fiddled with it for a while before finally turning back to him.
"I am assuming you have restored your brother, then." Cold. Every word clipped and forced. And then Edward realized what he had seen flash in the man's eyes for that split second. It was hurt – hurt and pain, edged with a little desperation. And with a shock, he realized that Mustang didn't want him to go.
Mustang didn't want him to go.
It was hard to accept that as a fact, and he swallowed hard, forcing himself to reply.
"Yeah… I have." And fuck, that sounded so pathetic. They both stared at each other for while, in nothing but silence. How could something with no weight be so fucking heavy? Then Mustang leaned down and took something from his drawer. A stack of papers landed on the desk with a loud thump. Mustang stared. Edward looks at the papers.
"I saw this coming – these are your resignation papers. They've already been approved by the higher ups, and all it requires is your signature." A pen was offered to him, held in bright, gloved hands. And he reached for it, signing his name as Mustang watched, and then looked at the man. There was still nothing but silence.
He tried to read the Mustang' eyes – but they were so distant, too distant, and he almost wanted to reach for his face and just ask him what the hell was he thinking? Because he wanted to know, he was sick and tired of this game and he just wanted to know –
Then he realized that this, this… crush... stopped being just that a long time ago. At some point in the past four years, whatever he felt for Mustang stopped being all about lust. It was no longer just desire. It was not love, he had never been in love before, and he had nothing to measure this up against, but he did care – a lot, so much that he couldn't believe it. So much that it was almost on par with how much he cared for Alphonse. And he knew that if this – care – was nurtured, it could, just maybe, it could become love.
But then Mustang said, "You are dismissed, Edward."
That was the first time he used his name, and as he stared back, a feeling of cold horror seeped into him as he realized that it would also be the last. He didn't know what to do, but he was dismissed, and he just felt so, so – dead, in that moment, that he nodded and turned, and started heading for the door. The handle was already grasped in his hand when he realized –
- he had been discharged.
He was no longer in the military.
Another realization. He was of legal age.
The last realization. There was nothing that could stop him from doing what he wanted now.
Aw, fuck it.
He made a sharp turn and he was sure he had some kind of predatory look on his eyes as Mustang's head snapped up in pure shock with a slight tinge of fear, and widened further as Edward literally jumped onto the desk and got on his knees. He stopped Mustang from scooting away in fear by yanking the man forward by his collar and meeting his lips in a kiss.
It was so very chaste, but he never though the he could be happier than he was just moments ago, and he never thought he something like this would make be happy even if he were to die on that spot. He pressed a little harder, and found that Roy's lips were actually soft and he felt like snorting because that was the last thing he expected. Then he released Roy as their kiss ended with a little pop, and he leaned back, still on his knees on the fucking desk as he watched Roy stutter and stare at him like some kind of puppy that had just been poked, given a treat, and then poked again.
"W-wha- Edward—" He never thought the sight of Roy Mustang – Roy Mustang – stuttering could be caused by him, or that it could be quite so enjoyable. "What. What was that?"
"Wha— I know that." Roy snapped, and Ed grinned. "But, just – what the hell?"
"What? I'm no longer in the military. I'm legal. And I like you."
"You- you – do you have any idea what you're doing, what are you-?"
"m' not fucking blind, Mustang. I've seen the way you looked at me, and practically the whole office's felt the unresolved sexual tension whenever you an' me are in the same room."
Oh, the shock on Mustang's face was so delicious.
"Just say you don't want this, and I'll leave."
He watched the play of emotions on Mustang's face. Confusion. More confusion. Shock on the sudden realization that Edward would really leave if he asked him to. Shock that this was actually happening. More confusion. Internal deliberation and finally, after what seemed like forever –
- The expression of defeat.
Roy's face suddenly become so open, then he stared hard at him. "First of all, Edward," just hearing his name leave those lips was damn addictive, like a drug that he would never get tired of using, even if he died – "if we are going to do this, I have one condition."
"Call me Roy. It is the least you can do, after all. Mustang is so—"
A scowl. He grinned. "I was going to say impersonal."
Narrowed eyes. "You brat. Is this how you go around confessing to people?"
Edward laughed, and Roy's eyes widened by a fraction as the younger alchemist climbed of the table and onto Roy's lap.
"Dunno. You're the only one I've ever done this to."
A pause. "Only me?" he didn't fail to see the slow start of smirk. He kissed him again to shut him up, this time, a proper one.
Yes, you idiot. Only you. And at the back of his mind, in a small voice, - forever you.
And he lay down with Roy under the sheets, his flesh arm wrapped around the larger body. They were both exhausted – but in a really, really good way. If this was what they would do every time after the visited Al and Winry in Risembool, they should really go more often. A lot a lot more often. So he nuzzled the crook of Roy's neck, and smiled when the man hummed quite happily.
"Y'know, got this feeling we would turn out like this eventually, that time I met you when I was a kid."
Roy cracked open one sleepy eye. "… You knew we would be lovers when you were eleven?"
"Don't be stupid. Just – I knew you would become y'know, really important to me – fuck, I just inflated your ego."
Roy laughed, and Ed buried himself in that sound. "Thank you for doing so, love. Not to mention those delicious sounds you were making some minutes ago did the exact same."
"Shut up." He growled into Roy's chest, and it rumbled as he laughed a bit more. "Go to sleep, idiot."
"Yes, dear." And Roy gave a small yelp as Ed gave him a quick nudge in the chest, but just chuckled and wrapped an arm around Ed's waist, closed his eyes, and both lovers went to sleep in each other's arms.
Disclaimer: I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist or any of Hiromu Arakawa's works.
AN: Well, I'm actually quite happy with this, even if it was really just something to shoo the writer's block off my brain's front lawn. I hope you guy enjoyed it, and hopefull I'll be able to post more soon. And yes, I know this was sooo not original, but I enjoyed writing something like this, strangely enough. Drop a review! (: