Title: Ad Hoc
Pairing: um, an Ed-centric thing on his feelings about Roy? I don't see how this could be a proper Roy/Ed.
Spoilers: None as far as I can see, really, unless you don't know the basic premise of FMA.
Summary: Ed survives on guilt.
Books are Edward Elric’s best friends, and so the Library is the closest he has to home; and it is not troublesome, for it waits for his feet (rain-soaked, caked with mud or sand or silt, never clean) in all of the major cities, in stony silence as well as knowing patience, for a process repeats itself within. It shuts its doors to the rest of the world and Edward finds solace in the here and now, with rotten tomes and yellowed paper and biding dust
(where lies and not-lies the Stone that bleeds into the red river)
where he can envision his brother more clearly. Without the clanking of metal footsteps in his ears and the bulk of shadow that eclipses his own—and no, the suit of armor is merely gigantic—he is brought to imagine, in the corners of his mind untouched by allegory, what Al might be doing at the moment: reading in the dormitory room they share (of course it is fiction; Al does not need to have a part in this, after all), perhaps picking up stray kittens not terrified enough upon seeing him a mile away…and his eyes burn in a renewed fire, greater than ever, perhaps even than the constant pull that guides his every step.
He does not tell, because it has no point to it, really, that they also wake up bloodshot from fevered dreams of those one and a thousand nights.
And he does not tell anyone, either, that they haze in confusion at the flow and bustle around him; he cannot understand(or refuses to), for he only understands the quiet and timelessness of shelves and text and philosophy, but the unsettlement does not ebb away—but no matter: seek familiar walls, find yourself on familiar ground and in a familiar state of mind, and there is the only constant you will ever need.
He does not want to think of what they mean, and of what they may mean. He does not want to know the reason behind the teasing, knowing looks he is given at headquarters, nor of the strange warmth that creeps into his stomach every time the Colonel meets his eyes.
There is the Stone, and there is the Library, and there is his brother and the suit of armor.
Alchemy is an all-encompassing science, and so Edward knows that Equivalent Trade is absolute, and an adult human body is composed mainly of carbon and water, and One is All and All is One, and he is in search of the Stone to bring back what his brother had lost. And there is nothing beyond that.
And Edward reminds himself not to call those other thousand tiny voices fears, because they are not fears.
And it is a shame that alchemy cannot block them completely, for all its universality. Perhaps it is because he is human as well.
Edward Elric goes to the Library, and it is more for himself than for his brother. He welcomes the words pathetic and selfish to come and gnaw at him until, and while, he bleeds.
It is a reason to feel guilty, after all.