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11 August 2010 @ 10:15 pm
Fic: HALF LIVES, Chapter 12: "Brothers in Sickness And Health"  

Fic: Half Lives, Chapter 12: Brothers in Sickness and Health


Rating: NC 17  this chapter

Pairing: Roy/Ed, references to past Roy/Hughes and the ending of Ed and Winry’s marriage. Guest appearances by Alphonse, Madame Christmas, Olivier Armstrong, and Dr. Knox

Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Yaoi romance.

WARNING: This is yaoi. If you aren’t comfortable, don’t read. Wank will be ignored.

Spoilers: Years have passed since the Father’s Fall (chapter 108)  Things in Resembool have not gone well and Ed has the scars to prove it, seeking healing and refuge in his work at Central Command…but Roy Mustang has never been one to calmly stand by and see his friends hurt…


Chapter 11: http://community.livejournal.com/fm_alchemist/6968750.html#cutid2

Chapter 10: http://community.livejournal.com/fm_alchemist/6966647.html

Chapter 9: http://community.livejournal.com/fm_alchemist/6962477.html#cutid2

Chapter 8: http://community.livejournal.com/fm_alchemist/6957897.html

Chapter 7: http://community.livejournal.com/fma_yaoi/1956444.html#cutid1

Chapter 6: http://community.livejournal.com/fma_yaoi/1955468.html#cutid1

Chapter 5: http://community.livejournal.com/fma_yaoi/1954820.html

Chapter 4: http://community.livejournal.com/fma_yaoi/1954759.html#cutid1

Chapter 3: http://community.livejournal.com/fma_yaoi/1953583.html#cutid1

Chapter 2: http://community.livejournal.com/fma_yaoi/1953116.html#cutid1

Chapter 1: http://community.livejournal.com/fma_yaoi/1952285.html#cutid1


CHAPTER SUMMARY: Alphonse has captured the nation’s imagination as the first Amestrian aeronaut—but his first concern is the healing of his brother Edward with the help of Xingese
Alkahestry, the foul tempered bedside manner of Dr. Knox—and some gut-busting laughter. Edward and Alphonse also demonstrate the fine art of swearing in Drachman AND Xingese, while we get a rare glimpse into the past of Roy Mustang through the eyes of Madame Christmas..


**HALF LIVES has gotten over FORTY-EIGHT HUNDRED Hits OVER FIVE THOUSAND HITS!!!!on Fanfiction. Net since 7/11—THANK YOU!!!! Feedback is Greatly Appreciated!**

As always, for rueme  for her amazing artwork


HALF LIVES Chapter 12: Brothers in Sickness and Health

By The Binary Alchemist 2010



            Christmas Mustang never did forgive Maes Hughes for breaking her little boy’s heart.

            Her boy. “I didn’t birth him, by damn, but he’s mine,” she told Ed, smiling at his awkward attempt to be a gentleman and light her cigarette at the reception when she cruised by the table of young geniuses teaching Edward to swear in Drachman. Hughes had been a good man with a good heart---but he’d hurt Chris Mustang’s boy-had torn out Roy’s soul—once on Maes’ wedding day and once again at his funeral. “I don’t mind tellin’ you,” she added with a whiskey laugh, “that it’s damn good to see Roy-Boy among the living again. Damned good.”

            “Vat vas dot about?” Pyotir wanted to know.

            Ed glanced up at the head table and for an instant black eyes flicked to his, held and warmed Edward better than a shot of the Fuhrer’s best brandy. “Beats the—what’s that word?”

            “Yebat,” Alexi offered helpfully.

            “Beats the yebat out of me,” Ed shrugged, grinning at the old woman as she drifted back into the crowd.


            Roy had been so young when his father died. His mother—lovely, that one—had not survived Roy’s difficult birth. Breech baby. “Born to land on his feet, no matter what,” Chris had joked to her brother, but they stopped laughing when the Army doctor emerged from the delivery room, his tidy white apron soaked in much too much blood.

            His father had been killed in a border skirmish with Creta. A grenade blew off the outstretched hands as he attempted to activate the arrays on his gloves. Helpless, he sank to his knees, a Cretan bayonet bringing his brief career as a State Alchemist to a close.

 They sent his younger sister the flag from his coffin, but kept the silver pocket watch. She got his pension—a pittance to raise an orphaned boy on, but she was canny and thrifty and with careful investments she banked a sizeable nest egg for Roy’s future. And it would be a bright one—if she had to pay for his schooling and alchemy training by sucking every goddamned cock from Pendleton to Dublith and back again. It was worth it. He was worth everything.


            Roy had promised her a new palace when he blew up her bar. “Is this big enough?” he asked slyly on the day of his inauguration.

            “Too damn big for me,” she shook her head, refusing his generous offer of her own private apartments in the Presidential Palace. “Too damn big for you  too—unless you share it.”

            Roy shook his head. “I believe we agreed to table that discussion topic until further notice.”

            “Cut the crap,” she shot back. “Roy, how long has it been since Maes died? And that bastard—bitch—whateverthefuck it was that killed him is gone. So what are you gonna do with the rest of your life?”

            Roy’s face became expressionless. “Serve my country and protect its people. That is more than enough to occupy my time.”


            But as she stood on the Palace grounds, shivering in her fur coat, she watched her son’s face as he witnessed the reunion of those Elric brothers. Roy’s eyes were always cool and guarded in public, his expression carefully schooled to conceal his thoughts. A corner of his mouth turned up. It wasn’t a smirk. The gaze was warm and steady and proud. Roy lifted his chin and straightened, as if remembering himself, stepping forward to greet Alphonse Elric as a national hero. That younger Elric brother was a looker, that was for damn sure. His eyes were wide and candid, concealing nothing, while Edward played his cards close to his vest, sharp and cynical and oh so vulnerable under his waspish demeanor. And yet she could see why the older brother was the one who caught hold of her son’s heart. It took a wounded soul to understand a wounded soul, and for all the horrors Alphonse Elric had allegedly endured his nature was too sunny and forgiving to  be in sympathy with Roy Mustang.

            She didn’t believe in God, but she always believed that somebody watched out for fools, drunks and misguided children.  Between them both, Roy Mustang and Edward Elric had covered all those bases at one time or another.  “Whoever the fuck you are,” she mumbled under her breath, “take care of my boy. And Hughes? You wanna make it up to me for hurting Roy? You keep those two together, goddamn it.”


            “The wolf of the steppes has come to the fox’s lair and has found the dragon circling overhead.”  Olivier Milla Armstrong mused quietly to her brother. “The fox will survive by cunning—even the wolf is not fool enough to risk raiding the fox’s kill when the dragon can swoop down and take both of them down. “

            “You are saying, then, that the President orchestrated this show of aeronautic magnificence?” her brother asked.

            “Precisely. It will pique the curious minds of the scientists and physicists and chemists and that ilk. But more than that,” she chuckled darkly, “the wolf of the steppes has learned that Amestris has taken dominance over the air, as Drachma once dominated the seas beyond her borders. She must submit, stand down and honor the treaty or see this harmless toy rain fire and blood from the skies above Brigg’s mountain.”



            Under the heavy coat, the body Alphonse was clutching tightly was…thin. The topography of his sibling’s face cast deeper shadows under the eyes and in the hollows of his cheeks. A heavy bandage was tied to the side of his head and he could see that under the carefully combed ‘wing’, a good hunk of it had been shaved off.  He was not quite steady on his feet and there was something concealed behind Edward’s smile that gave Alphonse a sinking feeling. It was more than the wound under the bandage. A blow had been struck, yes—but the worst damage had been to the soul, not to the bone that had fractured.

            “GETHEHELLBACKINBED!” Dr. Knox shoved his way to Edward’s side. “Stupid son of a bitch!” Havoc stood at his side, grinning and pushing an empty wheelchair. “Get in the goddamned chair and go back and rest.”

Ed glared back at his attending physician. One corner turned up in an obstinate sneer. He folded his arms across his chest. “Valí otsjúda!”

            Behind his glasses, Dr. Knox’s eyes glinted dangerously. “What…did…he… say?”

            Tsar Dimitri nodded his approval. “He told you to piss off—and his pronunciation has a Voldovostok accent, thanks to Pyotir. We shall have to work on that, Tovarich—you must sound less provincial, as you are a man of the world.”

            Alphonse glanced from his brother to Dr. Knox. Then he smiled.


            “ALPHONSE!! PUT ME DOWN! You…backstabbing son of a---“

            “Ah-ah-ahhh---don’t talk about Mom like that!” Alphonse chuckled, hiking across the grounds with his elder brother slung unceremoniously over his shoulder.

            “This is when you say ‘Chërt voz'mí!’,” Tsar Dimitri of Drachma called helpfully, chuckling into his beard.


            Ed was mutter-spluttering to himself as Dr. Knox removed his bandage and examined the wound. “Idiot,” Knox growled half to himself, half to his patient. “You’re going to give yourself a hemorrhage. You’ll appreciate that when you fall over dead or wind up in that chair for good with brain damage.”

            “Oh, balls,” Ed snapped peevishly. “And quit pokin’ at me. Fucksake, I’m not some kid—“

            “Then quit acting like one. You have a relapse or hemorrhage—what you think that’s gonna do to your kid brother out there—or to Mustang, for that matter? And if you don’t give a rat’s ass about them, think about your kids.”

            “Huh,” Edward sighed. “They’d be better off without me fuckin’ up their---HEY!” What the hell  was that for??” His shoulder ached from a hard clout from Owen Knox.

            “I’d knock your goddamn head off if it wouldn’t undo my hard work.” His voice was low and furious. “So just shut the fuck up before I forget that you’re still my patient and don’t ever let me hear you talk like that again.”

            There was a soft rap at the door. “Dr. Knox? Can we come in?” Alphonse stuck his head around the door. “Dr. Chen would like to speak with you about Brother.”


            Five minutes later, Ed was lying on the floor, his head in the middle of an alkahestric transmutation circle. “Watch carefully, Alphonse-sama,” Dr. Chen advised. “You too, Knox-sama, since your patient is—shall we say—trying your patience?”

            There was a brilliant arc of golden light that swirled around Edward’s head and it felt like a thin finger of fire burned into the side of his skull and then rapidly cooled.

            There was no trace of the incision. “That’s why I wanted to get you inside as fast as I could,” Al told his brother excitedly, “ and one of the reasons I asked Dr. Chen to come with us. I wanted to make sure you healed up after your fall.” He lifted his hand in a gesture of apology to Dr. Knox. “You took such good care of him—and I’m so grateful. And I bet there’s so much you can teach Dr. Chen about Western medicine. I just knew that…well…Brother gets so restless when he has to stay in bed…”

            Knox sniffed. He poked again at the smooth patch of scalp. “Seamless.” He nodded. “Radiographs. Tomorrow. We’ll see.” He glanced at Dr. Chen. “You people have radiographs? Fluoroscopes?”

            Chen shook his head. “I have read in Western journals. I would like to see this procedure—if Knox-sama does not object. Most fascinating!”

            Sensing a kindred spirit, Knox offered his hand. “Send a car ‘round to pick you up around ten. Until then—rest.”

            Alphonse looked worried. “Can he come to the banquet tonight, at least?”

            Knox shrugged. “You say he’s cured? Then it’s no skin off my ass.”

            Al yawned hugely, then apologized. “Sorry—we didn’t rest much in the crossing—“

            Dr. Chen nodded and clasped the tall alchemist by the elbow. “—and you must rest yourself. I will give you some tea for the aches of the road and I will have them wake you in plenty of time for the banquet. Also,” he added waggishly, “I am thinking that the freshness of the air would be greatly improved with the application of hot water and soap and perhaps the changing of your garments, Alphonse-sama.”

            Al grinned at Ed. “And you thought you were the only one being bullied by your doctor?”

            “Just like that damn Ling—never says anything that isn’t in a roundabout way.” Ed smiled faintly back. “He’s trying to say you stink, Al. Get washed and get some rest. I’ll see you this evening.”

            As soon as his brother disappeared down the hall to the guest suite and the elevator doors closed behind the two doctors, Ed slipped across the hall to Roy’s private bedroom. He was tired, damn it. Didn’t want to admit it. And why the fuck did he feel so…odd…about seeing Alphonse after a year’s absence?


            The last time they’d been together was after Nina was born, the day they took that picture. The day Winry came out wearing her hair like their mother, insisting that they pose just like Ed’s parents—“Only don’t look so sour like Mr. Hohenheim! Smile, Ed!” she told him, gesturing for Mei Chang to get into the picture. “After all,” Winry gushed excitedly, “you know you’ll be part of our family for real some day!”

            Ed had given her a sharp look—but then Maes toddled up and tugged at his pantsleg. He couldn’t help laughing and ruffling the boy’s hair fondly. Maes may have been a surprise—but Ed would never regret his son or his daughter. Ed scooped him up and mimicked his son’s toothy grin as the camera flashed.


            That was two years ago. Nina was toddling, Maes was into everything…and Ed was not there to see them grown up. His brother had left without him. Tomorrow, he’d find out if he was well enough to travel to Aerugo after meeting with Winry in Resembool one last time. And then…

            Then what?

            “You must come visit the University at Stoltovgrad,” Maxim urged.

            “Dot vould be good. Ve could arrange for you to stay as visiting professor,” Pyotir seconded in his thickly accented Amestrian.

            Alexi added, “Come for summer season—less cold for thin blood.  There is a dacha nearby—we three stay there in warm weather and there would be room for you—“

            “—and your bratya—bring Alphonse and we will sit under the stars and drink vodka and argue and think about this grand golden age we are hoping to build,” Maxim finished.

            Bring Al to Drachma? He liked the idea. He liked it a lot. Maybe after the divorce and all the bullshit with Prince Claudio…


            Shrugging out of his newly-tailored clothing, Ed stretched out crosswise on Roy’s Presidential-sized mattress. The sheets were clean, the coverlet tucked neatly under freshly fluffed pillows. “Damn Sebastian,” he grumbled. Maybe he wanted the sheets to smell like Roy when he crawled in for a nap. He had looked so goddamned good in that dress uniform….mmm…so good….

            …but he looked better out of it…

            His hand wandered lazily down his belly. Odd. Sex had been…well, not at the top of his list of personal priorities.  Foreplay in the house in Resembool began with a lot of resentful glares sent in his direction. Some very loud sighs of frustration. Some suggestions that Granny to put the kids to bed. Granny would nod and say she had some work to finish in the cellar. If he didn’t get the hint, he was treated to a chorus of, “it’s nice to have some time to ourselves”. Segue into ‘Ed, you’re never in the mood—if I waited for you to get in the mood I’d die of old age!” and finally escalating into  tears and slamming bedroom doors. Then he would wearily march up the stairs and do his manly duty…and as soon as she was snoring he would tiptoe downstairs, duck under the outside shower, dress and go back to his books.

            Now he had to concentrate hard not to think about sex.  He’d come more times in the past two nights than he had in the past year of marriage. It was like he was drugged—he wanted to bury his face in that soft thatch of curls between Roy’s thighs and revel in that wild, primal scent. His mouth tasted so damn good—he was surprised that he could be enthusiastic about the taste of another man’s genitals…semen would never taste good but there was something that got in one’s head about Roy’s groans and the way he’d curse and growl at Ed while thrusting wildly into his mouth…and the smooth strong back, the pale skin that flushed as Ed sucked on it…lying belly to belly in the dark, his head in crook of Roy’s elbow, one long leg curled possessively over Edward’s hip…

            “Hold that pose.”

            Ed froze, hand still in his shorts.

            His Excellency, the Fuhrer of Amestris, was standing at the foot of the bed, gazing down at him, eyes dark and hungry.


            There was such a thing as being too tired to sleep. Even Dr. Chen’s chrysanthemum tea didn’t help. Alphonse rummaged in his suitcase for clean clothing and padded down the hall. Brother was probably still awake, nose jammed in a book—probably learning new swear words in Drachman to add to his already richly profane vocabulary. He grinned—he’d have to teach Ed some of the choice obscenities he’d heard Dr. Chen utter when a clumsy apprentice tried his patience once too often. ‘Cào nǐ zǔzōng shíbā dài’ was about the filthiest thing Alphonse had heard that could be yelled in frustration—‘fuck your ancestors to the eighteenth generation’. Ed would love that one.

            Padding down the hall, Alphonse could hear what sounded like a volley of Ed’s curses from the room across the hall from his brother’s. The door was ajar. He slipped his head around and…


            Wǒ cào!!”


            The Xingese had a term for it which translated as ‘the two headed dragon with twin backs.”  Alphonse couldn’t have stuttered out the phrase even if he knew it.

            Roy Mustang’s face was buried between Brother’s thighs, one hand under Brother’s buttocks, fingers thrusting in perfect rhythm with the bobbing of his dark head. Brother’s hips were snapping up to meet each downward glide and  Brother’s face was turned towards the door, a swollen, flushed and lengthy phallus glistening wet against his indrawn cheek as he sucked hard on its head, his own fingers buried, curling and coaxing as Mustang shivered visibly under his touch.

            Thick gold lashes fluttered open. Ed saw his brother staring at them from the doorway, mouth hanging wide in shock.

            At that precise moment, a finger curled inside him as the tip of his cock hit the back of his lover’s throat…and Roy swallowed.

            Ed jackknifed with a wild cry, the member he’d been sucking frantically flying free of his mouth with an audible pop. Roy’s head jerked up a moment too late—what he’d meant to savor had caught him square across the chin and cheeks. Teasing fingers were abruptly yanked free and Roy sat up abruptly, wiped his face and glanced down at his lover who was still shuddering and groaning.

            Ed’s brain finally cleared enough to register clearly what had just happened.  After all those years on the road when he was so ashamed of even hinting that he’d had a wet dream for fear that Al would feel bad—Al who could feel nothing, knew nothing of desire or bodily needs—he had gotten caught at last…

            And the son of a bitch was…laughing.

            Alphonse Elric was laughing so hard he slid down the doorframe and collapsed on the rug at the foot of the bed, whooping and howling and pounding his fist on the floor.

            “Al….I…” Ed stammered, yanking a sheet over Roy’s naked groin.

            The son of a bitch laughed even harder. He was grabbing his sides, gasping and tears were running down his cheeks.

            “What the fuck??”

            And then Roy lost it. He flung himself back against the mattress and roared.  He laughed so hard he was turning all sorts of intriguing colors.

            And slowly, for the first time in a very, very long time…Edward Elric lost it too.

            “A-Alph-phonse,” he gasped, “this isn’t what you think it is---“

            “Oh yes it is!” Al hooted back joyfully. “It’s…equivalent exchange!”










ca11iopeca11iope on August 12th, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)
Well, I'm back from my 'vacation', and have just had the pleasure of reading four chapters of this story in a row. This one was great - a nice light break from the heavy tone of the others. Thanks Knox, for not letting Ed get away with that fatalistic crap. And oh my God, Roy and Ed caught in the act by Al! Not what he thinks it is? What the hell else could it be? You had me roaring too! Thanks!
The Binary Alchemistbinaryalchemist on August 12th, 2010 03:02 am (UTC)
Thanks! I could just hear Ed stuttering out, "Look...there's a reasonable scientific explanation for this.......ohhh, fuck!" I'm sure Ed took the attitude that "Al can't have sex so I shouldn't jerk off/get hard/have wet dreams, etc" all those years....and Al is nobody's fool. This was the prefect comeuppance I could think for all that hiding and avoiding--to let Ed get caught with his pants down and his mouth full!
eoNblueeonblue_inmay on August 12th, 2010 07:41 pm (UTC)
oh snap! "equivalent exchange"! awesome! loverd it!
The Binary Alchemist: USbinaryalchemist on August 12th, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much--and who said Equivalent Exchange couldn't be fun???
mir280: Flamemir280 on August 13th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC)
The Binary Alchemistbinaryalchemist on August 13th, 2010 03:35 am (UTC)
::grins:: Glad you liked it!!