Rating: NC-17 overall, this chapter PG-13
Word Count: This chapter - 2,361 Overall - 17,856
(Let me just pause and say holy crap! XD)
Notes: Ed's POV at last, what is he thinking? Sorry the chapter is a little short, but with the plot done, I'm not going to push it. XD
Chapter Six: Criminal
The sun came streaming through the thing curtains of their home in Central City. Edward found himself lying on his stomach on the bed, engrossed in a thick tome about the mechanics of organic transmutation. He heard the door downstairs slam shut. Roy must have returned, and so he waited to see if the familiar footsteps would find their way upstairs to him. There was a bit of shuffling and then they disappeared into a small study Roy had set up downstairs. Edward shook his head and went back to his book. It had been like that for months. He was starting to feel unappreciated.
Stop acting like some woman. Edward berated himself internally. This was just the nature of their relationship, he told himself over and over again. This was the seventh time today he repeated this mantra. It didn’t matter if Roy wasn’t interested in him much anymore because they still loved each other right? He’d been wrapped up in that damn book for far too long and he wondered just how much more he had to write.
The book having been forgotten, Edward slipped out of bed. He walked down the hall with bare feet, leaving behind a soft thump with every step. His pants were slightly too long, and he didn’t have a shirt on, but he didn’t care. He felt each step under his flesh foot as he went downstairs. He felt like he was sneaking out of class, but he didn’t understand why. Edward snuck around the corner and watched Roy from the doorway. The jet black hair that was getting too long was being brushed out of his eyes with his free hand, the other one writing furiously. His back curved where he hunched over. Edward sighed and watched sadly. He wanted to interrupt, but Roy was clearly in a good writing mood, so it wasn’t wise.
He'd done it once, interrupted that is. They'd had a huge argument, in which Roy won, because he almost always did. It was just a one time thing, he implored. After this he wouldn't write anymore. It meant the world to him. Edward sighed softly to himself and turned away from the door without making a sound. He padded his way to the kitchen, he figured if he didn't make dinner, Roy wouldn't and he wanted to eat, damnit.
Edward often felt like a criminal, the way he slipped around the house, hiding his presence. He'd done it for months now and was getting tired of being unwelcome in his own home.
* * *
When Edward Elric had first moved in with Roy Mustang, things had been difficult. Their spaces had a hard time meshing together. Dinners were stiff and formal, chores divided with a sense of nervousness and an underlying sense of excitement. The only place they were at ease was in the bedroom. Everything started from there.
“You can have this half of the closet.” Roy told Edward, pushing aside some uniforms and formal clothes he didn't wear often.
“Thanks,” Edward answered back, unpacking his few belongings timidly. But with all of the sex and time spent in the room it became theirs. Not Roy's. Then the bathroom, with hooks of their own and toothpaste stacked atop one another, things got messier, but more homely. It made both of them feel happy.
It took a month of readjusting to suit them both. Their happiness was warrented and validated by the time they spent together.
They were perfectly happy. Then Roy decided to write his memoirs.
It had been eight months ago, Edward reflected. Roy decided, seemingly out of the blue, collected some looseleaf pages and a pen and began writing. Scribbling down his life. Adding Edward's to the mix, which made him uncomfortable.
He never said anything. Like Alphonse before him, he committed the crime of silence.
* * *
It was a simple assignment. Go to the boarder up north and investigate the goings on of the population on the boarder of Amestris and Drachma. Write a report. Hand it in. It wasn't supposed to take a week. The entire train ride, Edward had been angry. His back stayed rigid, his fingers clenched into fists, knees pressed tightly together as he rode the trains through the systems. Frustration and anger clouded his thoughts.
I never said anything to you about your book. I never told you how much I wanted you to get rid of it, how much I wanted to throw it into the fireplace...I never told you how much I needed your attention. I never told you...and now look where we are? We're drifting apart. I feel it. My heart and soul are being pulled back and forth, ripping apart from my corpse as I sit dead in our relationship. Sex is stagnant, we don't go out and all you do is write. We never talk anymore. You send me on missions when I get upset about things with you.
The thoughts plunged Edward further into misery as he opened his palms, pressed his forehead into them and sobbed softly, so as not to alert anyone else. He was falling apart, at the speed of light and there was nothing he could do to stop it before he hit the ground.
* * *
Why didn't you say anything?
Why didn't you tell him no?
Why did you let him ignore you...and do so in return?
Why...did you pretend nothing was wrong?
Look at you. Reduced to crying on trains. Pitiful. You don't have the balls to save your relationship. You don' t know how to talk to him anymore. He's bested you. You've lost.
Edward's eyes shot open, consciousness saving him from his horrible inner self berating him through dreams. It had been doing this for quite some time, ever since he started to feel abandoned by his lover.
Abandoned...just like he did to you. He's going to leave you.
“No.” Edward answered aloud, nearly wailing it with disdain. He was horribly confused and angered by his inner voice.
He's just like him. He'll leave you behind. Fame will sweep him away and you'll be left alone.
“He wouldn't! He can't!” Edward cried into his hands.
You'll be alone. Alphonse won't save you. He's too busy with his own life. He doesn't care about yours.
“No!” Edward was screaming now, clutching his head and drawing a few glances from other cabinmates. Thankfully, his famous status caused them to look away and mind their own business.
He'll leave you alone to sleep in the grave you dug with Roy. Equivalent Trade. You left him for Roy and now he'll leave you when Roy deserts you.
“I can't...no. I want them. Please, please go away!” Edward wailed softly into his hands.
You must leave him. Leave him before he deserts you. Save yourself the pain.
Edward just shook his head and fell into a fitful sleep moments later. Not one soul attempted to help him.
* * *
The train arrived in the north, jolting the young man out of sleep. He stretched and rubbed his eyes and frowned as his back twitched involuntarily with a spasm. Perhaps he should stop sleeping on trains, he mused. Edward ignored the pain and grabbed his suitcase before descending the stairs to the platform.
The wind here was icy cold and it seemed as though snow was on the horizon. He met Breda at the station and gave him a smile and a vague half-assed salute. The other took him through the train station and out onto a dirt road that was not as dusty as one would expect when walking along. The ground was cold and damp and was closer to mud then dust. It must have been nice in the summer, Edward thought.
“Here's the hospital we're investigating.” Breda announced. “They think some of the doctors might be part of the rebels and are recruiting able bodied patients who pass their check ups with a clean bill of health. Havoc took a physical and was invited into the insurgents. He did accept, so we have someone on the inside. We're not likely to see Havoc for a little while yet. He said so far there's a lot of talk, but he doesn't think they have weapons, or are even remotely a threat at this point.”
Edward nodded solemnly, listening to each detail. “He's still with them, right?”
“The possibility he's been found out is...?”
“Highly unlikely.” Breda supplied.
Edward mulled over that for a few moments as he walked with Breda to a nearby hotel. “I trust you've been meeting with him covertly?”
“Absolutely.” Breda answered and led Edward inside to a restaurant inside the hotel. A young woman came and took their orders before leaving them.
“Interesting.” Edward allowed as he sipped his water. “Is this...?” He trailed off, figuring the man would get it.
“Yeah, sometimes. We both like a good steak.”
“There's a leak.” Edward said definitively and didn't add anything else for the time being. This was not the place to talk about this, he could tell that already. The waitress came over and chatted up Breda and very innocently asked about Edward. She was told his name before Edward stepped in with a smile. “There isn't much to know about me. I'm just a writer passing through.”
“Really? A writer?” She squealed with delight.
“Oh yes. I have yet to get my first book published though. In fact I'm hoping to get an editor a little north east of here to take a look at it.”
“That's so amazing! What's it about?”
Edward smiled. “Well it's about where I grew up as a kid, you know, people I know and stuff. I don't want to give the plot away. There's a possibility it might become famous and published and then you could read it.”
“I look forward to it. Oh!” She hurried off to serve another customer.
“She's up to something.” Edward said under his breath at Breda, and the other man frowned back at him. That girl may seem innocent, but she was nosy and she knew too much. He knew exactly how things went in small places like this. Everything and anything was gossip. It would be all over the place that he was a writer by morning.
Once the meal was served and consumed (and it had been delicious), Edward and Breda retired to a room upstairs, the one that would belong to Ed when they were finished with it.
“You have to watch your back here. That girl is a gossip machine. Anything you tell Havoc, everyone's going to know.” Edward cautioned.
“I don't know about everyone....” Breda said but relented. “We didn't think of that.”
“That's the kind of place this is. Anything is news. Just don't let her overhear too much. Chances are, if you were discussing work with Havoc there, they know he's military.”
“Yeah.” Edward agreed, looking thoughtful. This was turning out to be more complicated. That nagging voice in his mind was reminding him he had unfinished business to attend to.
It didn't take long for Breda to leave. When he did, Edward stood up, pacing around the room. He didn't know what to think. The voice in his head was telling him that Roy was tired of him. He could understand where that image came from. Roy was too busy to make love to Ed. He was too busy to carress him, take meals with him, argue theory with him and he sent him away. Far away, where they couldn't discuss their problems.
His anger was starting to mount as he berated himself. With anyone else, would he have tolerated such bullshit? Absolutely not! Edward took a deep breath and steeled himself. He knew what he had to do.
Shaking, his hands picked up the receiver and presed it to his ear. One of them turned the dial to the correct number for their home – no, Roy's home. He waited and when Roy answered, Edward's breath hitched slightly. Then he took a shaky breath, and plunged in.
“Roy...I'm not coming home.”
Edward hung up.
* * * * *
He finally saw Havoc a few days later. The man was smiling and laughing and he didn't seem to realize quite what situation he was in. That is, if Edward was right. He may not have been. Edward was, however, distracted.
The first explosion caught him by surprise. It caught everyone by
surprise as fire and pressure moved through the hotel with
unbelievable destructive force. No one seemed to be hurt and they
began to evacuate. Edward was among them, helping an old man move
towards the doorway and once close, he went back to check and make
sure no one else was caught in the fire.
It was the second explosion that caught him off-guard and it shouldn't have. It sent him out of the building through a thankfully, already broken window, leaving some of his blood behind as his back was raked against the remaining shards. He lay there gasping and coughing, trying not to asphixiate.
His vision was hazy and blurred and Edward could barely register Breda talking to him. Something about the military trucks in the back of the building being attacked, but he caught nothing else as he sunk into blind unconsciousness.
* * * * *
You're going to die Edward.
He's not going to come, not after what you told him.
He couldn't care less if you died right here.
Roy doesn't give a shit about you, remember?
Even if he did, he doesn't now. You did that. You ruined things. The voice's cackle echoed in Edward's mind, haunting his unseeing dreams.
Roy wasn't going to leave you, but you left him.
You're an idiot.
You could have had Roy. But you gave him up.
And now he's going to give you up.
You're a criminal again, you stole his heart and destroyed his property.
You're going to stay here, alone and forgotten, forever.
It's time for you to die Edward.