?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
22 February 2015 @ 05:56 pm
HALF LIVES 3: OUR LIVES, CH 47: "FUTURE TENSE"  
HALF LIVES 3: OUR LIVES, CHAPTER 47: “FUTURE TENSE”
By binaryalchemist
Rating: This chapter rated NC-17 for  adult content.
Pairing: Roy/Ed, Havoc/Hawkeye, past Hughes/Roy
Spoilers and Warnings: Post-Manga verse, Star of Milos, Yaoi romance/angst/humor
Plot:  Roy and Ed have been together for 15 years now—Roy prepares to fulfill his 520-cenz promise to make Amestris a democracy, but just before Roy’s 50th birthday and his wedding to Edward a tell-all biography about Mustang is published  that sets the country on its ear---because the ‘truth’ about the Promised Day is about to come out, with Roy miscast as the evil genius behind it all…
Chapter Summary:For the first time in living memory, the people of Amestris--including Roy Mustang--will cast their votes to see who will lead them into their first years of true democracy...but Roy has a vision that stretches far beyond the outcome at the polls, and at long last he calls BOTH of his teams together to share the secrets that will be Roy's true legacy—but will it be his triumph or his ruin?
A/N: Feedback greatly appreciated---“Half Lives”, “Whole Lives” and other fics hosted at fanfiction.net at http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1651220/BinaryTales and also at  my new host  at AO3. Thanks for reading!!!
OUR LIVES, CHAPTER 47: FUTURE TENSE
By The Binary Alchemist 2015

                “History first, breakfast later.” Ed was firm about this and his children nodded obediently, putting down their coffee and sweet rolls and getting up from the table.  Their father was smartly turned out in a good suit, his heavy blond ponytail smoothed and combed and his tie—for once—not hanging halfway off his collar. Even his waistcoat was neatly buttoned.  “C’mon, snap to it!”
                “Somebody’s tense,” Maes muttered under his breath to his sister.
                Nina nodded, reaching for her purse that held the oh-so-important voter registration card. “Somebody didn’t sleep last night. You know how he gets when he’s worried.”
                “Betcha Pops slept like a rock.”
                “Because he knows it’s out of his hands now.” Nina adjusted her glasses and reached over to smooth her brother’s unruly mane, clucking a little at his usually flyaway appearance.  “At least he’s lucky nobody identified that television signal with all the…ah—“
                “—sounds of our parents being depraved outside their bedroom—“
                “Right. Nobody has set Daddy and Poppy up on morals charges, so at least that didn’t ruin his chances.” She flicked her brother across the bridge of his nose with a slim finger. “Be careful next time, Tinker! Don’t you dare set up any audio or visual transmission tests around here without warning us! Good grief, “she lowered her voice, “it could have been Uncle Alphonse…entertaining friends.
                “I heard that.” Ed gently tugged his daughter’s hair. “Not funny, kid.”
                Maes snorted. “Like it’s any secret that he—“
                “Shut it right now,” Ed warned, “or the next hidden camera is going to be set up in your bedroom, son….and I won’t warn you, any more than you warned me. Now,” he jerked his head to where Havoc stood waiting at the front door, “let’s go make history.”
#####
                People in the street were crowded around the front window at Il Gattina, and for once they weren’t admiring the tempting pastries—or the equally tempting young ladies that were serving them.  They were transfixed by the black and white image of a dark haired man with a charming smile folding a slip of paper and stuffing it into a ballot box under the watchful gaze of a precinct officer.  “It’s Mustang, all right,” one man observed around a mouthful of pastry and cream. “He’s voting right now—we’re actually seeing it happen. Boy, this is something new!”
                “I heard,” the woman beside him added, “that everybody who votes will be seen on this…what they call it? Television?”
                “Yeah, just like in the movies, only better!”
                “But smaller! Why can’t they make the pictures bigger?”
                “Bet they will, soon as they figure out how—“
“ Hey, I’m going down now to vote.” A woman in a snug angora sweater was now waving at the camera. If anything, the small picture tube made Gladys Turlough’s breasts look even more impressive “Anybody coming?”
En masse, the crowd of businessmen watching the window display stampeded down the street, rushing  the whole five blocks to Precinct One to cast their ballots for the candidate of their choice—and the bountiful bosoms that gave them at least two good reasons to applaud the new democracy…
#####
                “—and I don’t think it’s gonna be you.”  Lighting up another cigar, Frank Archer pushed his hat back on his head and offered Donal Samuelson a sympathetic grin. “Man, when General Armstrong cut off your bank account, she cut you off at the knees, didn’t she?”
                “Ah, shut up.”  Samuelson was fuming, red faced and frustrated.  The polls hadn’t been open more than an hour and some pundits were already calling the election.
                “You gonna concede?”
                “Fuck you! It’s not even noon. “
                “Yeah, well, you haven’t got enough politicians owing you favors to buy this one. Should have sucked a few more cocks and boned a few more women with money. You did bone Armstrong, right? How the hell else did you talk her into footing the bill?”
                Reaching into his pocket, Samuelson pulled out a silver flash and downed a quick shot of liquid courage. Bone Olivier Freakin’ Mira Armstrong? She’d turn his nut sack into a coin purse and wear his dick around her neck as a trophy if he’d even entertained the thought of touching her. “She did it to get at Mustang.” He ignored Archer’s laughter. “But he can’t hold office for more than two terms if he wins…so it’s only a matter of time. If he hadn’t started all this democracy crap, he might have run the show until he died in office.” Slugging down another mouthful of Stray Dog, he smacked his lips and shuddered as the whiskey hit his empty stomach.  “Let’s see who he’s smirking at ten years from today….”
#####
                “Miss Winchell? The bus is here. Don’t you want to go down into town and vote today?”
                Vote?!?
                For half a cen, she’d walk every step of the way to Central just to spit in Roy Mustang’s boyishly handsome face.  He was the bastard who’d sentenced her to the Armstrong Institute for Wellness. He was the one she cursed every morning when she endured those hideous yoghurt enemas designed to get healthy bacteria into her guts. He was the one she fantasized about every time she jabbed her fork into another salad or morsel of raw broccoli.  Never mind that she could have—some thought should have—gone to the executioner’s block in Xing for striking the Emperor and injuring him.  And that loathsome son of his in his prissy white coat and hair longer than a girl’s—feeding her spiders! Ohh, what she wouldn’t do to Sheng Yao given half the chance! Every night she would scribble in her diary—oh, and didn’t they want to take even that bit of privacy away from her?—how she would get her everlasting revenge on Mustang, Elric and his vile offspring, Ling Yao and his spawn and that overblown whore Gladys Turlough with her cow udders and her fat ass and bleached blonde head and coochie—imagine, paying someone to bleach her hair down there!  She’d pay them back, damn it. She’d pay every last one of them back and they’d be so sorry…
                Strongine Armstrong interrupted her toxic reverie.  “MISS WINCHELL, YOU ARE TO BE CONGRATULATED.”
                Ah. Another name on her list of people her world would be better off without. Our Lady of the Enema Nozzle, Queen of Isometric Exercise Torment and Purveyor of the Worst Food This Side of an Ishballan Monastery. “What the hell are you talking about?”
                “I HAVE BEEN EXAMINING YOUR MEDICAL CHARTS,” the grim faced giantess bellowed, “AND I AM PLEASED TO NOTE THAT YOU HAVE LOST A TOTAL OF 3.17 KILOGRAMS SINCE YOUR ARRIVAL. THAT IS AN ADMIRABLE START.  IF YOU CONTINUE AT THIS RATE, YOU WILL NEED US TO RETAIN THE SERVICES OF A SEAMSTRESS TO REMAKE YOUR CLOTHING BEFORE YOU RETURN TO CENTRAL TO SUIT YOUR MORE SLENDER FRAME.”
                Three-point-one-seven kilograms??
                She’d never been able to shed so much as a gram of weight—not without fasting until she fainted.  She’d always detested her photographs and always ordered her publisher to have the pictures of her on the book jackets altered to make her look more slender.
                What she hadn’t been able to manage on her own had been—well, not effortless, but nowhere near as horrid as her previous attempts of binging and purging and sticking her fingers down her throat.
                Rushing to her mirror, she stared at her reflection, poking her fingers at where she knew her cheekbones were buried.
                Five minutes later, she was scribbling furiously on a pile of complimentary stationary. “I’ll make a fortune!”  she crowed triumphantly. “The Ultimate Guide to Fitness for Life, by Kelley Winchell…”
#####
                “And so the turnout was better than you anticipated, Nina-san?”
                As if Sheng Yao needed to ask.  Nina was radiant. “I’m going back down after lunch. I can’t volunteer since I’m a member of the President’s family, but I can help Maes and Dr. Tesla man the equipment. I just…” she lifted her hands, unable to find the words she needed.
                “You need to be in the middle of this. And that is well.  I’m certain you will learn a great deal.  This is an important day in your nation’s history.  Would you…” he paused, as if searching for the right words. “May I bring you some supper later?  Peta-san is coming up later to take over so that Maes-san and David-san can take a break.”
                Edward’s daughter suddenly dropped her eyes, and the awkward silence that followed was quite out of character for her.
                The prince bowed, embarrassed that he had broached the subject. As he turned to leave, she cleared her throat.  “Your ghau. You gave away the Philosopher’s Stone. It’s empty now, isn’t it?”
                He instinctively touched the silver locket that he’d protected all his life. “Indeed.”
                She frowned for a moment, as if something made her distinctively uncomfortable. Then she nodded, as if coming to a decision. Reaching into her pocket, she withdrew something pale and gleaming and no larger than the tip of her own finger.
                She offered it to Sheng, who drew in his breath in wonder. A tiny disc of purest white jade, intricately carved with a triple spiral array—labyrinthine, he had learned.  Her array, the first Nina had ever sketched for her studies as an alchemist. On the reverse side, outlined in pure gold, the chrysanthemum crest of the Imperial Family.
                Nina reached around his neck, removing the pendant. She opened it, and placed the tiny array inside the ghau. Snapping it firmly closed, she returned it around his neck, her hands lingering briefly on his shoulders as she stood on tip-toe to look into his eyes.
                “I trust you.”
                And she was gone…..
#####
                “The polls close at midnight. The results—or at least the projections—will be announced at ten tomorrow, unless there’s some kind of hold up counting the ballots. “
                “You worried?”
                Roy glanced up from his newspaper. “It’s not as if I have any control over this now. “  He scribbled a few notes on the margins, sighed and reached for the carafe of hot coffee, freshly refilled by Sebastian.  “Is everybody here? Then let’s get started.”
#####
                Six seats at the table; five of them were filled, as Roy expected. As for the sixth…
                He glanced at Alphonse who shook his head.  “Maybe someday, but not now. If ever.
                “Right, then. Let’s get started.” Rising, Roy addressed the young people seated before him. “This has to be your choice. And Sheng—Peta—this is not a conflict of national loyalty. You know as well as I do this was never just about Amestris. Well, “he corrected, “perhaps at first. Before we knew the full scope of what went on during the Bradley regime and before, with the Father. But I’ve had quite a while as Fuhrer and a little while as President to give this some serious thought.  I can’t be sure what’s going to happen until the last votes are tallied. But, win or lose, there is far more at stake than the leadership of this country.
                “I’m talking about the world. I’m talking about making sure we take our first steps into the world at large—and that we don’t stumble.” He nodded to Edward, who opened the doors and escorted a slender, pale man that Peta instantly recognized:
                “Pyotir!” she exclaimed, clapping her hands in delight. “Tovarich, it is so good to see you! It is so long you have been on your travels.  We looked for you for years!”
                Edward’s old comrade from his Stoltovgrad days offered her a warm smile before gesturing to Sebastian, who helped him carry in a locked strongbox that seemed far heavier than it seemed for its size.  “For those who don’t know him, this is my oldest friend from Drachma, Pyotir Gagarin. He and his husband Nikolai are two of the few people who’ve actually traveled farther than I have—a hell of a lot farther…”
                Roy unlocked the strongbox and passed a bulging portfolio to each of the five at the table. The room became silent, as if its occupants had turned to statues.
                The lettering on the front of each folder read “The Known World Atlas”. There were individual tabs with names they had not seen before: Oceania. Nordtland. Sudtland. The Redlands. The Archipelago. North Polar Regions. South Polar Regions. Affrikah. The Great Desert.
                “This is what lies beyond the Eastern Ocean—beyond Xing and the Five Jewels. The other side of the world. Beyond Europa and everything you think you know. Ed cleared his throat. “If you want to back out now, put the folders down and walk away.”
                Nobody moved.
                “Maes Elric. Nina Elric. Sheng Yao. David Collins. Peta Lobachevsky. If you stay, your childhood ends now.  Possibly your lives.  I don’t know and I won’t know until I find out myself—which may be sooner or later, depending on the outcome of this night. On the other hand….if you stay…you will open your eyes upon a bigger world.  Choose now.”
                It was David Collins—thief, street rat, the ‘Dogshit Davy’ of his boyhood days of hard-scrabble poverty—who finally rose and addressed the once—and future—President of Amestris:
                “Sir…with all due respect, cut the crap. We’ve got work to do.”
                Ed’s face split into a huge grin. He nudged his son playfully. “Marry him, son—he’s the smartest person in the room--“
Nina cleared her throat, lifting her eyebrows comically. “--that’s not a blood relative,” Ed finished.
Ed opened the door again and five familiar figures stepped in and saluted.
Kain Fuery.” Roy turned to his son. “Maes, you may make hash out of every large engine and automobile you touch, but there’s nobody that understands the intricacy of electronics better than you. And more to the point—you’ve got a bead on how it’s going to be so very significant in the future.  You and Fuery are working together from now on.
Heymans Breda.” A strong, scarred hand rested on Peta’s shoulder. “Master strategist. One step ahead of everybody else. I never plan a move without consulting him. And none of your friends, I note, plans a move without consulting you, Peta. I think I’ve found you a worthy chess partner. Get to work, you two.
Vato Falman.” Without a word, the Xingese Prince rose to his feet.  “You don’t have Falman’s photographic memory, but you have the drive and the intellect—and the wisdom—to advise your friends to keep the larger world in view.  Your strength is your compassion. Falman’s experiences from his days in Briggs will help you learn to keep others from using it against you. Good luck.”
Jean Havoc.” Roy approached his old friend and clapped him on the shoulder. “You stepped in the line of danger and lost your ability to walk, trying to protect me.  David, you took a bullet for my son and I don’t even have to wonder if you’d do it again. Both of you have had to fight your way out of the sort of losses that would have destroyed lesser men.  You are the silent strength that keeps everything from falling apart.  Don’t let me down—don’t let this country down.
Finally he walked to his daughter’s side. He took her by the hand and led her to the side of Riza Hawkeye. “This is the young woman who is probably going to either be our future Prime Minister or the President of Amestris someday.  I would never have made it to the top without your support.  Will you stand by my daughter the way you stood by me?”
Riza Hawkeye snapped to attention. She saluted. “You don’t have to ask.”
#####
 “If I didn’t know better,” Ed told Roy as they rested on the couch in his office behind closed doors, “I’d suspect you were expecting to die tomorrow.”
Roy snorted in amusements. “Very much the contrary. Everything’s about to begin.  I’m actually looking forward to it.”
“Settling your affairs?”
“No. Planting the seeds of the future and being confident about the spring to come.  My days of worrying and tossing and turning all night are over, Ed.  Bradley’s war is over.  I’ve made my peace with the people I harmed.  And five very, very bright kids are going to change the world for the better. “He glanced at Ed. “Or should I say six?  Or is Al ever going to tell anybody other than the two of us and Havoc and Hawkeye?”
“Well…he told Winry. Why else do you think she finally gave him up and went back to Pitt? “
“I wondered about that. Well…you know he’s never going to fight Julia about it. But maybe someday…kids do have minds of their own. Hell,” Roy grinned, “ours sure as hell have.”
“Enough of all this talk about the future.” Ed slid down onto the carpet at their feet. “It’ll take care of itself.  Right now…let’s take care of us.”

There was the delicious sureness of the hundreds of times they’d done this, but there was a keen pleasure too, as if a lifetime of worry had finally rolled off Roy Mustang’s shoulders and he was finally free to let down his reserve and relish the moments at hand as they came to him.  He chuckled inwardly at the thought of how hell-bent he had been on manipulating and controlling his lovers after Hughes and before Edward. Every touch, every drop of sweat—even his moans had been orchestrated to get whatever he needed from the person in his bed.
Now—right now—he was at the mercy of the love of his life, and the only ulterior motive in Roy’s mind was to keep that amazing mouth right where it was for as long as he could hold out.
Ed let the hot steel of his lover’s cock slide out from between his lips and began to nuzzle his way up that splendid, well-loved body, whose scent and taste could still get Ed rock hard without even a hand between his thighs. Catching Roy’s long legs in his arms, he gave a jerk and Roy slid on the leather upholstery into exactly the right position. “You may come out on top tomorrow,” Ed muttered against Roy’s scarred abdomen, “but not tonight. You okay with that, old man?”
“Hey, as long as I can walk before the cameras tomorrow and make my acceptance speech, I’m good.”
“Oh yeah, Mister President? Then accept this!”
The lean hips began a slow rotation; Ed never wanted to hurry this. He loved that tight and oh-so-intimate embrace of flesh and flesh as he pressed against his lover, pressing in and feeling that wonderful heat twitching around the crown of his cock.  Taking himself in hand, he began churning, rubbing and stretching that welcoming place, that Gateway of Truth that taught him so much about pleasure and giving and taking and merging with someone he loved.  “You okay?” He asked it and he meant it, damn it—because if it wasn’t good for Roy, it wasn’t good for Ed either.
A lazy smile told him all he needed to know. “Slow. You like it like that.”
“Uh huh. You too.” All those people who saw Roy Mustang today on that small, flickering tube would only know of the polished, poised soldier and statesman, not the lover that could make Ed’s nerves flare and his body convulse with pleasure so intense that Ed sometimes feared his brain might melt.
“Ahhhh….yeahhhhh….”  The ridge of Ed’s foreskin slipped over and deliciously in and then it was as if his body said to hell with slow, steady, patient loving.  He needed to fuck, damn it, and from the slickness dripping onto Roy’s belly, Ed wasn’t the only one.
A rosy flush covered the ivory chest, and Roy flung his arms out over the back of the couch, letting his head fall back, sweat beading on his forehead.  “Perfect.”
Ed drilled into that tight place without mercy now, his head reeling from the heat that gripped him hardhardhard, the smell of sweat and the stickiness of Roy’s cock grazing against Ed’s belly.  He slid up, shifting, one foot on the floor, one on the couch, snapping his hips so hard; metal toes digging holes in the carpet—
--and a hand slid around his hip. A finger slid in. Ed sobbed out loud and Roy clenched him harder from deep inside, his legs pulling Edward tighter, closer… “Aaahh ggoddddd!” Ed scrabbled blindly, reaching for that wet cock that flailed between them. Goddamn it…why can’t bodies bend…? Straining, twisting, even at the risk of losing that finger that was stroking him straight to heaven, Ed risked dislocation of his cervical vertebrae and, by all that was holy, managed to catch the very tip of Roy between his lips.
With a hoarse shout, Roy burst, nearly breaking Ed’s neck and dislodging his cock as he tried to thrust deeper into his lover’s mouth.  As for Edward—he was too far gone to care, yelping in delight as the tight ring squeezed him, right under the head of his shaft.
Roy’s body had such a fierce grip on him there was an audible ‘pop!’ as Ed disengaged from his lover, collapsing onto the President’s chest and shuddering as the last drops stained the fine leather upholstery.
“Are you all right?”
Ed tried to shift his head. He heard something else go ‘pop!’ and the pain in his neck—as soon as he could feel it—was very unpleasant indeed.
He managed to lift his hands into position. They clapped—and warm golden energy seeped into the back of his neck and he felt a third ‘pop!’ as his neck slid back into alignment.
Sliding into a sitting position, he grinned at Roy. “That last trick is gonna take some practice.”
Roy just laughed at the love of his life. “What the hell, Ed—we’ve got a long life ahead of us…”

…TO BE CONTINUED….