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19 February 2008 @ 06:19 pm
Forget Regret  
Title: Forget Regret
Rating: PG-13 to R(ish)
Characters: Roy and Ed
Warnings: Guess there's some angst... yaoi, shounen-ai, references to alcohol, and mild description of a "sex" scene and definite OOCness... I can feel it...
Summary: Roy finds a drunk and depress Edward out in the rain. Post-movie(ish), semi-AU, I suppose



 Recommended listening: Gravity by Vienna Teng

 

Forget Regret

One-Shot

 

It was raining again. The clouds had been doing it often, dropping large beads of bone-chilling water, especially around the time they had to go home from work at Central. It made the workday slow and long, giving an almost depressing feel to each room down the hall and on all five floors. The soft pitter-patter of the rain that had begun in the late morning had changed to the harsh storm that raged over the top of Central Headquarters. Jagged fire lit up the sky, followed by its echoing drums.

 

And Edward Elric hadn’t come in to work for the third time that week.

 

Now, normally that wouldn’t seem too unusual, except for the fact that Ed neither called in nor asked for leave and was granted permission. Even Al, the one who Ed told practically everything to, didn’t know where his elder brother had run off to. Ed had taken leave as soon as he had returned from the other side of the gate and helped Al remember what happened to them in the four years they had been on their quest. But now, a week later, it was as if the alchemist had disappeared straight off of the planet, if that was even possible. Then again, Ed hadn’t been himself when he had come from the other side of the gate. Roy remembered the almost sullen look on his face. It was as if he had just lost something so dear to him, it had broken his heart. What was that supposed to mean, then?

 

Roy Mustang sighed and put down the sheet of paper he had been reading. He couldn’t concentrate. Not now. He hadn’t been able to since Ed’s second unexcused absence. This third time was really grating on his nerves. Well, actually, it was more concern than anything, but sort of annoying, too. Roy stood up, leaving his unfinished paperwork on his desk. He didn’t really think about the consequences of doing so and that it would lead to him staring at the end of Hawkeye’s gun pointing between his eyes.

 

Roy closed his office door and began to walk down the hallway. He ignored the people he walked past, which caused his soldiers to give him a few odd looks, as if he were suddenly protruding three heads. Roy didn’t know he opening the doors to the outside until he heard the rain tapping on the concrete stone steps just a few feet beyond. Beyond that was the open space that led out into the rest of the city and into the dumps of rain.

 

Roy had miraculously picked up his umbrella on his way out of the office. He found it strange that when he thought and lost control of his body, said body automatically knew what it was going to do and grabbed the necessary items without his command. Odd, but also a nice little nudge of helpfulness.

 

Opening the dark navy umbrella, Roy stepped out into the rain. The harsh beating began quickly on the thin umbrella and Roy set off at a brisk walk, walking out of the garden in front of Central. He didn’t know where he was going, but he found his head turning this way and that, looking for a familiar golden braid or the small shimmer from a metal arm (which he knew was unlikely to spot; Ed always covered it up by his jacket). He just needed to find that something that represented Ed.

 

He found himself walking to small parks and alleys where he had either randomly encountered Ed before or met him there for some form of mission or even if he had found a small lead to the Philosopher’s Stone (which was the most uncommon of the three); now he just stared at the empty plain. He looked at the grassy areas and the small playground swings that swung empty in the wind. He remembered one time he had needed to talk to Ed and the teen had sat down on one of the swings instead of leaning against the tree like he, Roy, had. Roy had taunted him about it, getting Ed riled up and pissing him off so much, it had almost made Roy forget about the mission itself. Now he could see why Ed had wanted to sit on the swings. They looked so empty, so lonely without someone to carry into the breeze. When someone swung with them, they were straight and went higher than ever. Without that someone, the swings moved lazily and sloppily in the rain, gathering up water that dripped down the metal chains and stayed too low to the ground.

 

Roy turned around and walked away from the park. He needed to find Ed. Why, he didn’t know, but he felt as if he knew where Ed was. It was as if Roy could feel him nearby, but couldn’t see him. Roy walked down the sidewalk. There was an apartment complex down a few blocks, just a little ways from Central. Roy walked past a mother and her child in raincoats, rushing towards a small shop.

 

“Mommy, mommy, it’s so cool! Water from the sky!”

 

“Get inside, Nishra, or you’ll get sick.”

 

The woman ushered the child inside. Roy glanced back for a moment before he continued onward. Where was he going? Ah, the apartment complex. Roy had an apartment here. Hughes had visited him many times in “friendly” attempts to cheer up his mood if he were in a slump. Most of which worked, but then Hughes would get sidetracked about his daughter Elysia and go rambling off. And then he would be serious again.

 

A movement to Roy’s right caught his eye and he turned. He was facing the alleyway next to his apartment. It was dark and seemingly deserted except for a few old boxes that were breaking under the water pouring on them and curling up into soggy cardboard piles. The movement was a small figure moving away from the apartment complex and staggering down the alleyway. Normally, Roy would have guessed it to be one of the drunks loitering around, but the red coat and the long blonde braid, despite the messiness of it, was unmistakable.

 

“Ed!”

 

The figure stopped and lazily turned around and it was then that golden eyes met the coal black ones. But the gold eyes weren’t happy or cheerful or glittering in happiness the way Roy had seen them many times. These were regretful, sad, unfocused... these were the eyes one would expect from a victim, whether it be victimized emotionally, physically, or mentally. Roy had known Ed to persevere throughout everything he and Al had worked hard for, but he had never seen Ed’s eyes like this before, not even the night when Neina was found dead in the alleyway, where the only thing left had been the bloodstained outline of her makeup.

 

Roy stalked over to the alchemist and stared down at him. Ed didn’t show the slightest hint of fear at his superior, nor did he seem to know that Roy was even there. His unfocused eyes had to blink before they showed some recognition in them. Roy frowned and his eyes leveled. “Edward, where the hell have you been? You haven’t come in for three days!”

 

Ed, if he had heard Roy, didn’t reply and instead leaned against the wall and slumped down. Roy got a good look at him. Parts of his red coat were torn near the edges and along the sleeves. Strands from his braid had fallen out and his bangs were a mess across his face, hiding one of his eyes. His gloves were soaked and slipping off, revealing the water-resistant automail hand underneath. And the way Ed kept swaying told Roy that the boy had to have been worn out or something along the lines of being drunk.

 

“Ed, answer me. Where have you been?”

 

“You know... Out,” murmured the teenager. His head swayed slightly to the side before righting itself again and tilting up to blink through the rain that mercilessly splashed down his face like his own tears. Roy wouldn’t have been surprised if Ed were crying. The way those eyes were looking at him made it seem as if the alchemist would just shatter at any moment. He looked so breakable...

 

“Out where?” Roy asked, reaching down to grab a fistful of Ed’s red coat and hauling the teen to his feet.

 

“Just out!” Ed repeated angrily, his voice slightly slurred as he swayed in his spot. Roy stared at the boy in surprise. There was no way. Edward Elric was truly drunk! The unfocused eyes, the swaying, the slur, everything signaled he had been drinking. But what, Roy hadn’t a clue. Roy knew Ed was going to be in a lot of pain. The boy was still underage.

 

“Come on, you need to get inside,” Roy said offhandedly, tugging the petit alchemist out of the alleyway and inside the apartment building, closing the umbrella as he shut the door behind him. This first apartment building was actually part of the dorms just across the street. Roy always said he lived in an apartment, which was only half-true because it had the same format as the dorms. But that didn’t mean that those without dorms didn’t live in the same conditions.

 

Roy continued tugging Ed up the flight of steps until they reached the corner of the second floor hall. Roy sighed as he reached into his pant pocket and took out a ring of keys. He unlocked the door and pushed it open. He inwardly patted himself on the back for cleaning his apartment room last week. It actually looked quite presentable.

 

There was a bed against the back wall, a good full-size, with a desk in front of the large window for better sight abilities. There was also a bookcase, many of the books included a few alchemy research books, some detective mysteries, and others would be classified as random or extras.

 

Ed didn’t care where he was (he couldn’t recognize the place) as he flopped down in a chair in front of the desk, leaning back against it and bobbing his head slightly back and forth. Roy opened the curtains to reveal the storm raging beyond the glass. It hadn’t let up yet and Roy hadn’t expected it to. He did, however, wonder why he had thought it would.

 

“Ed, you’ve been drinking, haven’t you?” Roy asked, turning to face the dazed alchemist.

 

In an attempt to regain composure, Ed shot up in the chair and tried to glare at Mustang. But he reeled slightly and sighed, leaning back in the chair again. “Yeah, but what’s it to ya?”

 

“You’re underage, Fullmetal,” Roy grit out. What was the boy thinking? “What could have made you go and drink? And don’t tell me it was curiosity. You’re an idiot, but not that unintelligent.”

 

“Aw, shut up... it’s none of your business Colonel...”

 

“It is my business when one of the best employees in Central goes off and drinks himself until he doesn’t even know where he is,” Roy almost thundered, slamming his hands on the desk. Ed was startled by this and he jumped. “You will tell me, because this is serious.”

 

Ed’s eyes were focused now and he could form a straight glare. The sad eyes weren’t gone, however. They reflected like a sheet of ice over the glare that sent a chill down Roy’s spine. “And since when did you care? Oh, wait, that’s right... you don’t! You just want points to keep ranking yourself up!”

 

Ed went onto rambling something about it, but Roy wasn’t listening. His hands curled into fists. Roy knew that Ed knew it wasn’t true. Roy had demoted himself after the incident with King Bradley—or rather Pride—and hadn’t given a thought about it since.

 

“Edward, this isn’t about a promotion,” Roy said, trying to calm himself and making sure he used Ed’s first name as much as possible to get through to the boy. He somehow found it easier to say than the general codenames they used. “It’s general concern.”

 

“Yeah, whatever,” Ed muttered, slumping down further into his chair. His eyes lost their glare and they were back to how they were earlier; cold, dead, sad, and tired. Roy noticed this and the slightest hint of worry began to become more pronounced. What was going on behind those veils of gold? What was the boy who had drunk himself into daze thinking about?

 

Ed then sighed, putting his head down. He did this to avoid Roy’s ever-watchful eyes. They made him feel uncomfortable. But that wasn’t the only reason and he knew it. He had hoped that drinking something would be able to make it stop and that he could hold it in, but it wasn’t going to happen, was it?

 

It was seemingly automatic then. It started as a small hiccup, something like the aftermath of drinking too much. Then Ed’s shoulders began to shake and tiny little pitters rose up from the floor. Drops of water began to appear and combine with the tiny wet puddle around Ed’s feet. Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist, teen prodigy and representative of the military as a hero, was—for the first time in two years—crying.

 

Crying.

 

“It seems kinda stupid... ya know?” Ed spoke between small hiccups and a few strangled noises that Roy recognized as sobs. “To be getting so worked up over this... after all this time... just seeing something I knew was probably gonna happen... but...”

 

Roy wasn’t really sure as to what to do. He had no idea what Ed was talking about, nor could he contain his surprise that Ed was breaking down right in front of him. But he now understood. He understood how fragile Ed was. Despite the experiences and all the traumatizing occurrences in his teenage life, despite wars and things he was dragged into, and even despite all that he had learned from sacrificing and gaining, he was still only a child. The alchemist was still only eighteen, despite that all his knowledge could have him mistaken for a thirty-year old man who just happened to be on the short side.

 

Roy didn’t know what he was doing, but he found himself walking over to Ed’s side, standing in front of the teenager. He had a frown in place, but it wasn’t disgusted or coated in pity. He then went behind Ed, unnoticed through the teenager’s cloudy eyes, and knelt down behind him. He reached out and his arms wrapped around the fragile body soaked from the rain.

 

He felt the sudden tense and the slight shiver and knew Ed was surprised by his gesture, as if he hadn’t thought it would ever happen. Roy didn’t want to admit, even to himself, that he was thinking the same thing (if that was truly what Ed was thinking about). What surprised Roy further was the fact that Ed didn’t fight him like he normally would. The alchemist would try to run off or yell at him or do something to him, but never had Ed just sat there. And perhaps it was the alcohol that still ran through his system, but the fact was, Ed wasn’t resisting and Roy found he didn’t mind it at all.

 

“What has you so worked up?” Roy asked, his voice quieter since he was just behind the boy and didn’t want to shout his eardrums out. It would be easier to do that in the morning when the boy was sober.

 

“I saw some things... beyond the gate,” Ed admitted quietly, bringing a wet sleeve up to wipe his nose, trying to calm down. He took in a deep breath, trying to level his breathing, too. “And... it involved you... you doing... you going... you—”

 

“Ed, what did you see?” Ryo asked. Ed had told Al what had happened beyond the gate and the boy had told Roy, but some details seem to have been left out.

 

“Did it hurt?” Ed suddenly asked, reaching over and touching the black eye patch that covered what they both knew to be the missing eye. His clothed automail hand pressed ever so lightly, as if there were still an eye there.

 

Roy wasn’t sure what to say.

 

Ed seemed to be aware that he had spoken and even more so asked something so personal about the colonel and shook his head. “No, just forget about it... I shouldn’t be doing this. I’m overreacting...”

 

Roy knew this wasn’t going to get them anywhere. The teenager kept trying to avoid details. He had probably done the same with Al, too. The boy had given Roy a few different looks ever since Ed had refreshed his memory. Not the angry looks, but just... weird ones. Not a lover’s look, not a frustrated look, just... weird.

 

“Edward, look at me,” Roy said, almost in a commanding voice. Ed shifted so he could tilt his head, but his wet bangs hid his eyes and Roy couldn’t look at him. The flame alchemist used one hand to tilt Ed’s chin towards him and then Roy saw them. The eyes that held learning beyond their years, eyes that had seen horrors left and right with no rest in-between, the eyes that felt so captivating, they were bottomless. And they were sad, too. The eyes that showed little fear nowadays in battle were showing it now, as if a child had just been caught red-handed in stealing back his toy train that had been taken away by his parents.

 

Roy’s eyes softened slightly at the look, even if Ed hadn’t noticed and the elder alchemist leaned in slightly, still holding the boy’s gaze, as if testing him to act out on instinct and push him back. But Ed didn’t. The teenager didn’t look as if he expected anything, but the eyes seemed slightly more hopeful than they had been, even if it wasn’t clear at first. But what was it Ed hoped for? The comfort? The reassurance?

 

Roy already knew.

 

Perhaps it was because that the door was locked and the windows were high, so high that only the sky could see. Perhaps it was the fact they had both expected it and not expected it from before they had even talked to one another. Or perhaps it was the indefinable feeling that led Roy to want to reach toward that feeling, grasp it and take it in repeatedly like a drug addiction that he never wanted to be free from. But this addiction wasn’t a drug. This addiction was a person. Someone he cared for, even if he didn’t show it in office or any other time before. Or maybe he was showing it, but in his own way, showing it and yet hiding it up so as Ed wouldn’t take it the wrong way.

 

But it wasn’t taken the wrong way.

 

Not when their lips had touched each other’s ever so timidly, not when they found the embrace tighter and needier than they had ever though, not when the feeling came out and took control of their bodies, not when Roy found himself tracing the small scars Ed had across his chest, slowly slipping off the black jacket with hesitant fingers. It wasn’t when he touched the cold metal with bare fingers, outlining each plate as if he had never seen it before. It wasn’t when he found himself above the shaking teenager that reflected his own needy eyes, looking up with him with such a drunken uncertainty that Roy almost heard something inside him break. And it wasn’t the aftermath that left them both out of breath, tired and entangled in limbs, both flesh and metal, tight and close together, holding onto one another, feeling without speaking.

 

Roy lay next to Ed, his arms around the teenager, pulling the sleeping alchemist closer to him, resting his chin on top of Ed’s head. One free hand was running through Ed’s loose hair that had been untied at some point. It was soft, like silk.

 

Roy closed coal eyes and thought about what had happened that had caused them to end up like this, and probably more for the better. Roy didn’t really mind, though. He didn’t mind the consequences of this, nor did he regret it. He had wanted this and he knew Ed had, too.

 

Roy then thought about tomorrow morning. A small smile came to his lips. Mornings with Ed weren’t going to be that hard. And if they were, one of the hardest would probably be that morning. But it didn’t matter. Besides, a teenager with a hangover was fun to tease. Roy still hadn’t called Ed “shrimp” yet.

 

He was overdue.

 
 
Current Location: Desk of Doom
Current Mood: groggyTired as Hell... -__-"
Current Music: Durch den Monsoon - Tokio Hotel
 
 
hooded flame: Roy/Ed against wallbloodwords on February 20th, 2008 09:14 am (UTC)
This is beautiful. :-)

There have been a few storys starting in the rain recently, I think there's something about the time of year (all the rain maybe... ;-)). I've been writing one myself for weeks but real life keeps butting in and it's taking ages.