Hi hi--newbie/semi-lurker here. gonna drop you some tidbits of a story i'm wracking out. Do hope you enjoy!
This is currently untitled, also shonen-ai slashy stuff. (roy/ed). Rated r-ish for darker themes and some angst...but oh, so sweet. Enjoy!
“Brother? Are you okay?”
Edward turned his head from the window and regarded the armored form of his brother with a startled blankness. “Ah, Al…I’m fine.”
“But,” the other boy murmured. “You’ve been sitting there for a while, and—”
“Just thinking, Al,” the blond interrupted gently and looked away again. “Just thinking.”
“Oh,” Alphonse was silent for a moment as he took in how the smaller body was limned in moonlight, how the shoulders shivered every so often. But he didn’t speak despite his worry; he could only bring himself to take the blanket from the bed and drape it over Edward’s shoulders.
Looking down briefly, Edward brought up a hand to tug at it and looked at Alphonse with a sad smile. “Thank you, Al,” he whispered. Sighing, he leaned his forehead against the glass while the troubled distant look passed across his face again.
Alphonse retreated as quietly as possible to the other bed and settled down. He knew from long experience that if Edward needed to speak of what troubled him, then he’d eventually say it. Alphonse merely needed to wait.
Sometimes, when he knew he was alone and there was little chance of discovery, he stood before a mirror and just…looked. It didn’t hurt as much anymore to see the scars and the mechanical parts, the numb twitch of artificial limbs.
Sometimes during these moments of weakness, he wondered what he’d look like with an entire body of auto-mail—if it would be better to feel nothing at all anymore, but that sort of thought never made it farther than the darkened subconscious. It wasn’t right. He was already damaged, already broken and scarred.
I should be happy to be alive, he would think.
But some days, like these days, he wasn’t.
Edward brought the fingers of his left hand to the ridge of metal on his right. He watched in the mirror as they traced down the shape of his arm, past the elbow and to the wrist and cold curve of the palm. He couldn’t feel the touch in the normal sensation, only the pressure of his human hand against the metal surface. As his hand dropped away, his empty eyes rose slowly to stare back at him.
Sometimes he couldn’t recognize himself. On days like this, when his eyes were flat and young and his face was shadowed, bent with a burden he couldn’t comprehend on a good day.
I don’t want this. I don’t want to be this—
—because he was ugly and malformed—if this wouldn’t work he’d never be normal again, he’d always be this freak—
He could see the pain-hate-despair twist through his face, could feel the muscles in his jaw ache sharply because he was clenching his teeth to hard. Edward stumbled back a step, reeling away from the sight, from the pain, from himself.
Better to dress and hide the inhuman parts of himself, push them away until he couldn’t help it and it spilled out to the world like rotten flesh.
Edward turned from the mirror and groped for his trousers, unable to catch his breath and stubbornly ignoring the frustrated shaking in his hands. He breathed in, out, and in again until he reached for his shirt.
“I didn’t know you were the vain type, Full Metal.”
Edward flinched and felt his insides slime over with sudden ice, head spinning to the where the voice was as his hands spasmed; unconsciously he raised the shirt against his chest. “…Colonel—you…” he breathed.
Sometimes, his life just sucked.
The older man raised a brow and smirked. Edward could see the curiosity in his dark eyes and forced himself to scowl as Roy asked, “What are you doing?”
“Nothing,” Edward spat, turning away and twisting fingers into his shirt, nearly tearing it to pieces as he struggled to dress. “How long have you been standing there—don’t you know how to knock, you sick bastard?”
“I did knock, but you weren’t paying attention,” Roy pointed out and smiled when Edward flinched and turned way completely. “You were too busy staring at yourself.”
“Oh, shut the fuck up,” Edward snarled, eyes flashing hate and pain through the fringe of his hair. Then the schooled his face into that familiar sullen mask that Roy knew so well as he tugged his shirt into place, muttering curses under his breath.
After about forty-seven seconds of fidgeting and pointedly looking towards the door, Edward turned on his heel and stalked towards the door (and incidentally, towards Roy). Scowling, Edward ducked his head and began to shoulder past the older man.
Roy merely extended his arm and braced it against the doorframe. “You know,” Roy began as Edward recoiled and raised disbelieving and furious eyes from his wrist to his face. “You really are a child.”
“You—you—” the younger male sputtered. “Bastard!”
As the blond drew back his left fist to strike him, or push at him, Roy straightened. With a leisurely smile, he drew the fingers of his free hand down the smooth curve of Edward’s cheek before the arm could connect.
Shock and confusion widened the golden eyes and Edward froze; his fist thumped into the chest of the Colonel. Then the mouth parted as the boy attempted to speak, but no words came.
Roy allowed a smirk to touch his mouth before pulling his fingers away. “You have a mission. Be careful with this one. I expect a full report when you return.” He turned and slipped away before Edward could force himself to choke out a reply, a curse, anything but simply staring at him.
“Take care, Full Metal,” the man called over his shoulder. Then he was gone, vanished around the corner.
Edward stood in the hallway for nearly two minutes and stared after him in his wild confusion. Then slowly, disbelievingly, panicked, he traced the same path along his cheek with his metal fingers.
Colonel Roy Mustang glanced over his folded hands and carefully kept the mild-amusement across his face. It wouldn’t do to have his guest see just how much his presence worried him. Especially when said guest looked like a survivor of a train wreck, ripped clothes and bloodied skin, tangled hair and dirty.
Especially with shaking legs that he doubted Edward was aware of while he tried to sit straight in his chair and spoke slowly, carefully.
He’s exhausted. Roy narrowed his eyes slightly. He completed the mission and hasn’t slept. Add that to his self-disgust…hmmm…
“Are you thirsty?”
Interrupted, startled, Edward blinked at him. “Ah, a bit,” he hedged.
“So be it,” Roy murmured, and yanked open the lowest drawer of his desk. “It’s late enough; no one will bother us.” He pulled up a decanter of the finest rum available in this city and set it triumphantly on a desk.
Edward stared at him.
“Glasses, glasses…ahah!” He set a pair of mismatched glasses on the desk and wiped away the dust. A glance showed that Edward was still watching him suspiciously as he poured a generous amount in each cup.
“I’m under age,” Edward pointed out dryly.
“Oh, who cares?” Roy said breezily. “I’m off duty anyway. Drink up and finish your report; it’ll help you relax.”
Edward looked doubtfully at the drink before cautiously sampling a mouthful. It was a sweet tasting rum with a sharp aftertaste that burned down Edward’s throat. Across from him, Roy knocked back a healthy swallow.
“Now,” Roy casually released the top button of his uniform and watched as Edward took a larger swallow. “Is there anything else?”
“No, that’s about it,” Edward shook his head with a grimace. He rolled the glass until the liquid sloshed back and forth, shoulders slumping under the weight of his exhaustion. Seconds ticked away into the quiet office.
The older man leaned back on his chair and watched through his lashes as Edward’s own gaze wandered around the room and waited. Edward swallowed the dregs of his drink and fiddled with the empty glass, shifting one hand to push fingers against the line of metal on his thigh, under his trousers. Roy doubted he was aware of the action.
“So, what is it like?” Roy drawled after several minutes of silence.
“Huh?” Edward blinked at him. “What was that?”
Roy gestured to his right arm. “That. Your auto-mail. What’s it like?”
Reflexively, Edward brought his left human hand to cup the right elbow. Shock played across his unguarded eyes and he hesitated. For a moment he looked like a small child before automatic hostility surfaced. “I…why? What kind of stupid question is that?”
“I’m curious. Indulge me.” Roy tilted the decanter in an offer without words, and Edward held up his cup.
“It’s…numb. Like your arm fell asleep. Kinda cold…” The golden eyes dropped to his palm and the young man half-shrugged. “There are pressure-sensitive fibers embedded in the metal; I can feel blows or touches…but I can’t feel them like I could with my normal arm. It’s just…numb.”
Roy watched him take a swallow of the rum, his throat working, and traced the rim of his own glass with a finger. “How interesting.”
“Psh. Not really.” Edward’s mouth tightened and he stared stubbornly at the edge of the desk. “It hurts; the joints and the bracers on the inside. Hurts at the weirdest times and every time I reconnect them I want to die, it hurts that bad…”
“So…you don’t like it?”
Edward flexed his metal fingers with a detached horror. “No. I don’t.”
Roy deliberately made his voice surprised. “But—you can do so much with it—so much more than regular limbs—”
Golden eyes went dark and feral as Edward glared at him. “I hate it,” he said low and intense. I hate the reason I have these, I hate what I am, the eyes said.
“Ah, you hate everything anyway,” Roy returned with a wave of his hand. “You’re too tense. Everything’s bad, everything’s wrong, I have to do this and that no matter what—Pah. Boring. Deal with it, midget.”
The colonel smirked at the strangled fury that sparked in those eyes and drew the hackles up. Edward spat half-finished curses and made choked noises as he half-rose from the chair. The glass fell to the floor and shattered. “M-Midget!?! Who are you calling a deformed human you snide cock-sucking asshole!”
His face displaying a pouting expression, Roy dropped his chin in his hand and grinned. “You aren’t even listening to me…”
“I did too hear you!” Edward made it all the way to his feet; Roy could see the stumble of the weary legs and found a mild appreciation as Edward caught his balance by slamming both hands down on his desk, rattling the phone and papers alike. When he lifted his right palm, Roy noticed the wooden surface was cracked and dented. Edward didn’t seem to notice. His teeth were bared as he leaned forward and grabbed Roy by the front of his shirt in immovable metal fingers. The left knee clattered on the desk as he braced himself.
“No,” Roy smiled more sweetly, almost sadly, as he wrapped a hand around the auto-mail wrist, tugging slightly. “You didn’t. Why do you hate this so? It’s not that bad, is it?”
“Why do you keep asking that?!” Edward hissed and drew back his left fist. “Leave me alone! It’s not your business anyway, so shut the hell up—”
“What if it is my business?” the flame alchemist muttered and caught the fist in his right hand as Edward swung, pushed him back to remove the possibility of another strike. “A child like you shouldn’t have such heavy shoulders.”
Roy grunted as knuckles dug into the flesh under his collarbone; he’d have bruises by morning. If I’m not careful, it’d likely be worse than bruises. “A child like you—”
“I am not a child!”
“—shouldn’t be afraid of someone’s touch.”
Edward froze with his eyes wild and desperate and pained, the very image of a beaten loveless boy—which he was, Roy reminded himself, of his own choice. But still a boy. Still a child, despite the world-weary age in his golden eyes. Roy pushed away the unresisting hand, tilting his head in careful curiosity, and used his fingers to push back the hair from Edward’s face, smearing dirt and blood alike.
“Let me go,” Edward sounded stricken and pulled anxiously in Roy’s grip, turning his face away from the hand.
“So, what’s wrong?” Dark eyes narrowed in response the trembling he could feel thrumming through the small body.
“Let me go.”
“Answer me first,” Roy stubbornly followed the warmth of the cheek as Edward shook his head violently, more a denial of the situation than the question. Edward made a short rough noise and yanked at his right arm still held tight by Roy’s fist, but he was off-balance and ended up using his free hand to brace himself.
“Let me go, damn you!”
Tempted to rise out of his chair, Roy yanked his hand away and grabbed the decanter by the slim neck. He raised it to his lips, catching a flash of gold eyes watching him, and swallowed several times. “You are such a pain,” he muttered.
Edward’s frame was tension tight as Roy pushed the container away; he could see the flutter of pulse in the hollow of the neck. “What the fuck is your problem?” Edward’s voice was low and tight.
Frowning again, Roy replied, “That was my line…” Curious, he reached fingers towards the face again and Edward snapped his teeth at the digits. “Brat.”
Edward glared at him with enraged eyes from beneath his hair. He still trembled, and Roy was sure that any unexpected movement would send him skittering off like a wild animal. “Let me go!”
The alcohol ruined whatever lingering control over his temper; Roy stood so fast his chair clattered back and tipped, thudding onto the floor. Edward gasped as the older man pulled his right arm out, the other hand cupping the cheek.
“Stubborn mule-headed whelp of an alchemist—” the man was saying, meeting the eyes with his own furious stare; he didn’t care that his pretenses and his carefully dispensed speech was gone. “Look at me—Do you think you’re so repulsive, a blasphemy in their eyes—”
Edward made a funny sort of noise, shocked and defiant and went very still. His arm had come up instinctively between their two bodies; it shoved at Roy even as the man tore down all the barriers.
“—that you’re nothing more than a freak?” Roy caught his breath, suddenly aware of how sad his voice sounded, how soft it was. How Edward trembled in his grasp, eyes blank and unreadable.
Seconds froze and shattered; Edward let out a tiny breath and Roy managed to curl his fingers in a second brief caress before something shattered—
—gasping, Edward twisted like a cat and pushed with his good arm, kicked with the leg partially braced against the desk. It slammed against the flesh of his thighs with bruising force; Roy had no choice but to let him go with a curse.
Edward pulled back so fast he stumbled and almost dropped on his ass. “You,” he strangled out. “You—you—”
For a moment their eyes met, and Roy could see plainly the confusion and the desperation, the fear that colored the iris a tarnished gold. He wondered what his own face said to the boy, what he was trying to say, and didn’t speak.
Then the younger alchemist was gone, the door slamming back against the wall almost before Roy saw him move. The knob left a dent two inches deep before rebounding. He could hear the rapid footsteps carrying him down the hall.
“Shit,” Roy muttered, glancing at the rum. At least that hadn’t spilled. “That went over well.”
well...there'll be more. really. like sexual stuff. ^_^;;;