Disclaimer: I don't own FMA or it's characters and all that jazz
Summary: This is the revamped version of my Iron Smut entry. Thanks to cryogenia and militsa for your input!
Ed’s lips were over his, lonely and desperate, and he found himself wishing for simpler days.
He’d seen Edward many times in passing. It was hard not to, after all. They studied under the same man, and Ed stood out beyond reason. Always, when Ed seemed to notice Alfons, the look was the same, something surprised and rueful that he didn’t understand.
“Mind if I sit here?” It was pure coincidence that brought them to the same café. Ed leaned over some notes, chewing absently on a sandwich. He nodded without looking up.
Finally, Ed glanced at who he was sharing a table with, and seemed to nearly jump out of his skin. He blinked once, twice, and shook his head as if to clear it.
“Something wrong?” Alfons asked.
“Huh? Oh… no. You just look… familiar,” Ed replied.
“Well, sure,” Alfons murmured. “We see each other every day.”
Ed shook his head, but didn’t bother explaining what he’d actually meant, shifting the conversation to what they’d learned earlier in the day.
Edward slid his tongue along Alfons’ lips, pulling human fingers along his jaw, softer and more tender than usual, begging with his lips where words did not suffice. Alfons wished it were so simple, wanted to be swayed, but knew he could not. He cursed inwardly. If only Ed was still just his crazy, harmless roommate.
It was hard not to be drawn in by everything about Edward. Once they returned to Munich , Alfons found himself seeking out projects with Ed, as much because of his entertaining brand of companionship as for his genius.
Edward slid his hands into Alfons’, thumbs brushing each fractured line of his palms. Fingers shifted until they were linked and Ed was making a subdued, plaintive sound into his mouth as their tongued tangled and caressed. It might have been clumsy once, but not so any longer. Even Ed perched in his lap, legs pressed on each side of him, into the cushions of the chair, was no longer an awkward thing.
“I don’t think I’m going to be there today,” Ed sighed into the other end of the phone.
“Why? Are you feeling alright?” Alfons asked.
“Oh sure. I’m fine.”
Ten minutes, and something like pulling teeth acquired the truth. Alfons had never met Ed’s father, but he’d apparently disappeared without a word. He’d been gone long enough now, that Ed seemed fairly certain he wouldn’t be returning. Alfons found the resigned way he just accepted that sort of abandonment to be strange, but left Ed to his own devices. He considered offering to let Ed stay with him… after all, he did have an extra bedroom. Ed didn’t give him the chance, though, hanging up as soon as he was given the breathing room to say goodbye.
In the end, Ed did come to stay with him, though, and something started to shift.
Ed’s hands slipped from his fingers, curling around his wrists and sliding along his arms. They paused at his collar, fisting in his shirt as Ed’s kisses drifted to the corner of his mouth, his cheek, his jaw, and even now, simple things like this made it feel as if the world were in upheaval. He faltered for a moment before wrapping his arms around Ed, beckoning him closer.
One beer turned into two, three… and eventually Alfons lost count.
Apparently, a drunk Edward was far more loose lipped, and he was spilling stories of another world, a place where alchemy did amazing things, a place where he had a brother who he thought looked a great deal like Alfons. The words were slurred and rambling, and Alfons was certain it was some strange habit of Ed’s to tell stories while drunk.
In the morning, though, Ed was sober, and though he held his head in pain, he stood by everything he’d said the night before. Alfons gasped at the realization that not only was his room mate a little strange. He was utterly insane.
Ed choked on something that may have been words, even as his mouth moved over Alfons’. For all the times they’d done this, sometimes he still seemed to forget that kissing and speaking did not go well together. Fingers threaded through his hair, and Alfons groaned as Ed rocked and pressed forward in his lap. He tried to lose himself in the feel of it, the way Ed’s teeth sank into his neck, human hand tugging anxiously at the buttons of his shirt.
Alfons shivered, tilting his head back, and Ed pressed further, fluttering kisses and nips blanketing the hollow of Alfons’ throat. They drifted down, over his collarbone, lingering a little longer as they covered newly exposed flesh.
Alfons wasn’t sure when fascination became something else. Perhaps it was when they’d run home in the rain. Edward wandered around the apartment in a pair of slacks, waiting for his soppy clothes to dry, and Alfons couldn’t help but notice that despite the scars and strange prosthetic arm, Edward was attractive in an unconventional sort of way.
Whatever the reason, almost a year to the day after they’d become roommates, what had started as an argument over an equation was now Ed laying clumsy kisses on his lips, his cheeks, his jaw, practically writhing against him on the couch. Teeth clicked together and he was fairly certain that Ed was trying to eat his face. He was terrible at this, but Alfons couldn’t bring himself to mind.
“Please. Please say that you wanted this too.” Ed begged, whispers lapping fretfully at Alfons’ ear. He was helpless but to nod.
Abruptly, Ed stopped kissing him, and Alfons stared in confusion, both his eyes and mind glazed a bit with lust.
“What’s wrong?” he managed as Ed pulled away, easing out of his lap.
“Come on,” Ed replied. He regarded Alfons with a weak smile and an outstretched hand. Alfons took it warily, letting himself be pulled to his feet.
“What are you doing?” he started to ask, but Ed was kissing him again, affectionate and almost chaste. He pulled away after a moment, grasping Alfons’ hands and leading him down the hall.
Under other circumstances, Alfons might have laughed. It had been much to his mortification that Ed’s rush headlong into life in general extended to pretty much all things, sex included. It was exhilarating, but they rarely actually made it to the bed they were heading towards now, and Alfons wasn’t sure if Ed was taking them there because of how often he’d complained about it or because he actually wanted to be there.
A letter from the man Ed described as his father came, and it had been left, tossed aside on the table once read. He shouldn’t have read it, but curiosity got the better of him, and Alfons picked it up, scanning the contents.
By the end of it, he felt guilty for more than just prying in Edward’s personal business. So many references to this other world Ed spoke of. “Progress on finding a way home?” What did that mean? They couldn’t possibly both be insane, could they?
And so, the first seeds of doubt were sown.
Blunt fingertips pressed and slid down Alfons’ spine. Ed kissed him like he couldn’t get enough, and maybe he couldn’t. This was all they had left, after all. Alfons shivered as Ed pulled at his suspenders, easing them slowly off his shoulders. Each movement was experimental and hesitant, like Ed was learning to do this all over again, like he was afraid he might do something wrong .
It made him ache, though, to watch Edward spiral downward. He’d been so happy, so driven when they’d met. His confidence seemed to be flagging, though. More and more often, there were days when his mind was somewhere else, when he didn’t smile much, when Alfons seemed not to even exist. It tore him to pieces to watch Ed fall apart, just as Alfons was learning to love something other than science.
Ed flicked open the last few buttons, sighing and shivering as Alfons responded, reaching for him with a desperation borne of what was to come.
Abruptly, Ed wasn’t yanking at his clothes anymore. His eyes looked stricken in the moment that Alfons could see them. Then, a head of long golden hair was buried in his shoulder, and Ed was hanging onto him for dear life. His breath was shaky against Alfons skin, warm even through the fabric of his shirt, and Alfons squeezed his eyes shut against the tears that threatened.
Why did it have to come down to this?
“I believe you, you know.” The words were heart wrenching to say. Ed perked up, though, for the first time that day, and for that, it was worth the pain.
“Why? You didn’t before.”
“I just… do, okay? I’m sorry,” Alfonse pressed.
“Eh, whatever. I guess I’d sound crazy to me, too.”
Alfons swallowed anything else he wanted to say. Pleas to stay would only fall on deaf ears. Besides, how could he even ask? It shredded through him like scraps of paper that he was not enough, but for all his pain, Edward seemed worse off.
“Edward?” Al asked warily. He rubbed his hand up and down Ed’s back, and why was he having to be the comforting one, anyway? He wanted to be angry, but Ed trembled slightly with bottled up emotion, and he could not find it in himself to lash out. All he could manage was to hold him a little closer, to wind the fingers of one hand through Ed’s hair, loose and fallen from its ponytail.
Every day, Alfons second guessed himself. If he didn’t help, perhaps he could hang onto Edward just a little bit longer. Would it buy him days? Weeks? The misery in Edward’s eyes when he thought Alfons could not see chiseled at his resolve, though, and in the end there was nothing for it, but to find Edward a way home.
Any other option seemed cruel, anyway. After all, though Ed thought it was just a cough, seemed content to accept that, Alfons knew he was dying. It would hurt to be alone for what time he had left, but he could not leave Ed to live the remainder of his life in what must seem like a wasteland to him.
Whatever Ed had been feeling, bit by bit it seemed to be reigned in. Ed pulled partially out of his grasp, offering a shadow of a smile.
“Alfons,” he whispered, leaning in to offer a kiss. Gradually, he released Alfons from his arms, his hands skidding down Alfons’ sides, briefly gripping his hips. A deep breath and Ed was flicking the last of the buttons on Alfons’ shirt open, easing the fabric down his arms, and letting it fall to the floor with barely a sound.
With halting touches, his fingers flicked over Alfons’ chest and stomach, lingering over the clasp of his slacks before pulling it free.
“Okay?” he asked, and Alfons fought down nerve wracked laughter. After all, that question hadn’t hung between them in ages. He found himself smiling despite the pain, nodding slightly.
“Alfons…” The name was choked in Ed’s throat. “I think this could work. I’m almost sure of it.”
Ed was hugging him, and Ed never hugged him in public, but Alfons couldn’t find it in himself to mind.
“You’ll like it, I promise. I bet we can even figure out what’s wrong with you and fix it. I’ve heard about medical alchemy in Xing. Xing is this…”
Alfons wasn’t listening any longer. He could not. All this time, he’d thought Ed just loved home more than him. It burned him to the core to realize all this time he’d spent bitter and regretful, Ed had just planning to take him home with him.
If only it were that easy.
Alfons frowned slightly. Here he was, well on his way to being naked, and Ed didn’t have so much as a button out of place. His room mate didn’t argue or pull away as he reached for Ed’s shirt, easing it open bit by bit. Ed sighed softly as Alfons’ palms slid over warm, scarred, bronzed skin.
Ed was usually dominant by nature, loud and forceful, even when he was being affectionate. Now, though, he was very nearly serene as Alfons pulled open his belt, sliding Ed’s pants down his thighs with a forced sort of slowness. Kisses followed close behind, and Alfons nudged Ed back against the wall, using it for support as he sank to his knees, nibbling at Ed’s belly, and the hollows of his hips.
“Alfons,” Ed murmured, tilting his head back, squirming as Alfons slid warm hands up and down his naked thighs.
Ed tried everything to change his mind. He argued and begged, whispered and screamed, but nothing could change the fact that Alfons knew it couldn’t be. They might be happy for a while, but he could no more leave this place than Ed could make it his home. Though he wanted to cry, to plead with Ed to stay just a little bit longer, he could not. More than the pain of Ed leaving, he could not endure the pain of Ed staying, of the hurt he did not voice, the loneliness that never really left him.
Alfons listened, entranced, as Ed murmured encouragement, squirming in what might have been an attempt to be helpful as Alfons left tender, wet kisses across his waist and down, down. He sucked in a sharp breath as Alfons dragged his tongue along his length from base to tip, pausing to flick at the head of it.
“Alfons,” Ed gasped, and there were mismatched hands nestled in his hair as Ed struggled not to thrust forward, to just stay still. Alfons drank in the soft noises Ed made as he pulled him in, sliding forward until his nose was buried in blond curls.
He listened and memorized the sounds that assaulted his ears, the weight of Ed’s cock in his mouth, the warmth and tug of Ed’s nimble fingers. His tongue swirled around the tip, dipping slightly into the slit, and Ed’s breath faltered, nails on his human head digging slightly into Alfons’ scalp.
“Please come with me. We’d find a way to make it work. We would.”
“Ed, this is my home. I know it’s different for you, but… I can’t let everything I’ve worked for amount to nothing.”
“It wouldn’t be for nothing. We could start over. If it’s about being famous or something, you’d be amazing there. We don’t have anything like this.”
“It isn’t that simple.”
“It could be.”
“No. I won’t ask you to stay. I know that you can’t, but I need to. I can’t go with you, Ed.”
He had to stop, couldn’t bring it to an end this way. Alfons released Edward with a soft pop, pressing kisses to his room mate’s skin as he stood, pausing to cup Ed’s cheek in his hand, the other nudging them back towards the bed.
“You could still come with me.” The words were whispered at his ear, broken, and mournful. Edward gazed at him, eyes pleading, laden with sorrow.
“I can’t,” Alfons replied, choking on the words.
Ed leaned in close, his face inches away, accusation on his lips, “You won’t.”
“Edward, I don’t belong there. I know you need to go home, but I can’t go with you. How would it be any better than you staying here?” Alfons wished he still thought Ed was crazy, that he could still think Ed was losing what was left of his sanity and nothing more. At least then, there was still hope.
"I know... I know!" Ed growled. He blinked more than normal, as if trying to hold something back.
"I wish this could be different."
Ed scrubbed his hand over his face, “I can’t stay, you know. In the morning I’m leaving, and I won’t be back.”
Alfons had no words to answer with, did not trust himself to speak. Instead, he leaned into Ed, tipping them both back onto the mattress. Ed’s breath let out with a quiet whoosh, and he looked very lost for a moment before shaking his head, visibly willing something painful away.
Unable to face Ed’s eyes any longer, Alfons leaned forward, kissing him like they had all the world to lose, and perhaps they did. There was a scrape of wood against wood, and Ed was leaning to the side, even as he moaned against Alfons’ lips. Alfons felt a small bottle pressed into his palm, and he pulled away, licking nervously at his lips.
“Please,” Ed asked hopelessly, his gaze shifting to the ceiling.
Alfons did the best he could not to worry at the way Ed trembled the faintest bit at his touches, making a shameless, strangled sound as Alfons’ fingers brushed the insides of his thighs, shifting forward to tease and relax.
“Ahh,” Ed murmured as Alfons pressed forward. Golden eyes grew wide for a moment, as if they hadn’t done this before, and though they had, everything was different now.
Ed panted and cursed, but his eyes only screwed shut for the briefest of moments when a second finger joined the first, seeking even as they pressed and stroked. He forced his eyes open then, watching Alfons nearly wordlessly.
Ed’s fingers slid up and down his sides, stroking hesitantly, gripping tightly now and again at the curve of Alfons’ waist, the points of his hips. Alfons couldn’t watch those eyes any longer, and dipped his head to scatter kisses along the divot of Ed’s throat, memorizing the soft rumble of a purr that coursed through Ed’s chest and down his spine.
“No more,” Edward murmured, the words almost lost in the thick, pained sorrow that enveloped them.
“Sorry,” Alfons replied, unsure what Ed meant, but feeling the need to set it right. He started to pull his hand away, surprised when Edward gripped his wrist.
“I…I need,” Ed shook his head, drawing a deep breath through his nose. Alfons had never seen Edward cry, not even when he was begging to not have to leave him behind. His cheeks were slightly damp now, and though his eyes shone just a little too brightly, Alfons tried to convince himself it was just sweat from exertion, nothing more.
He nodded anyway, slicking his length and nestling between Ed’s thighs, raining kisses down Edward’s neck and chest as he pressed forward.
“Okay?” Alfons asked once he had gone as far forward as he could. Ed panted against his mouth, his breath wet and labored, but he nodded once, fingers tightening against Alfons’ skin.
Ed buried his head in Alfons’ shoulder, nipping at his throat. Alfons thrust his hips slowly at first, and Ed sighed in pleasure, bearing down in motions that might have been delicious if his ardor had not been tempered by reality. Alfons thrust forward and back slowly, wondering if he’d always remember the way this felt.
He wished it could have gone on forever, that he’d never have to relinquish his hold on Ed’s back. In the end, though, there was this, and no more.
Perhaps it should have been disappointing that this was hardly different from any time before. Pleasure flickered through his body, flashing behind his eyes. He was barely aware of Ed sobbing his name, scrabbling desperately at his back. Some distant part of him was pleased at the way Ed clung to him. Perhaps the marks he left would at least remain when Edward’s presence was long gone.
They collapsed in a heap, physically sated if not emotionally. Ed gasped as Alfons pulled free, and now that it was over, he was afraid to look at his lover. Instead, he rolled over, settling into the mattress, his back pressed to Ed’s chest.
Ed buried his head in Alfons shoulder. His prosthetic arm wrapped tightly around Alfons chest, and he mouthed lazy, insistent kisses along the back of his neck. Ed’s human arm slipped along Alfons’ beneath the pillow, as if he were afraid of any part of them not touching.
Only the shaky breaths Ed drew behind him, and the way he kept pulling Alfons just a little more tightly against him betrayed the fact that he remained awake.
“I love you,” Alfons murmured finally, knowing there’d never be another chance to say it. He tried to tell himself that the wetness on his back was not tears.
Ed’s response faltered and stammered, and as close to the truth as Ed could ever manage, “I…I’m so sorry.”