Rating: Eventual NC-17. NC-17 this chapter in fact!
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21034 / 50000 words. 42% done!
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It wasn’t his bed, wasn’t his room. White satin sheets slid against bare skin, wrinkled beneath curling fingers that did not belong to him. Sunlight streamed through gossamer curtains, and for a moment he was blinded.
His fingers threaded through someone’s hair, silken and find in his hands. There were lips at his throat, soft and wet, scattering kisses across his skin. He was hot, too hot, his body reduced to cinders. The body beneath his burned and writhed, and he could feel someone else’s heartbeat thudding hard against his skin.
Metal fingers cupped his jaw. Lips brushed against his, delicate and almost chaste, pressing murmuring kisses against his mouth. He sank into touches he was sure he ought to know, and yet, no one had ever touched him like this. He’d never been kissed, never been wanted, and now he was here, writhing against sunlit sheets, and it was like everything finally made sense.
His eyes flew open then, and his vision swam, a sea of pristine sheets… and gold. Eyes like honey gazed up at him, lidded and tinged dark with lust. Somewhere at the back of his mind he was sure this was wrong, but Ed’s lips quirked into a smile and nothing else existed, nothing else mattered. All that existed was this, lips pressed to his, pleading without words, hands sliding down his sides, settling at the knobs of his hips. Mismatched legs slid against his, and he was losing himself in sensation.
Edward groaned as morning light through the open curtains urged him from sleep. That dream… His body felt like all the muscles were being pulled tight, and it was far too warm in here. He needed, needed…something, too tired to remember that he should perhaps be bothered by the subject matter of his dreams.
There was a crick in his neck, and he tilted it until it gave with a satisfying pop. He was coming to, and still he wanted, wanted badly. He thought to shift his arm, wrap his fingers around his length and be done with it. Instead, he was startled by a soft moan when he moved his shoulder.
Edward blinked in confusion, and slowly the pieces began to fall back together. He was on the couch, vaguely remembered stumbling from his room the night before, thinking to sulk in the quiet of the living room. The scuffle with Ed had left him shaken, not because of the fight, but the way he’d reacted…like…like that dream had affected him. No, no, there was no way in hell he actually wanted that. Still, it was getting harder to deny how much he liked his alter’s company. It had gotten progressively more apparent over the last few days, the way he looked for Ed the moment he got in the door, the way he was starting to notice things… how softly Ed smiled sometimes, the warmth in his eyes, like no matter how bad the world got, some part of him remained gentle and untarnished…
That was a ridiculous notion. Of course he liked Ed’s company. They were slowly but surely becoming friends. What was the point of a friend you didn’t actually want to be around?
Still, despite the discomfort of being alone with Ed when he was still trying to work this all out, he couldn’t deny being a little bit glad for the company. A rebellious part of his mind reminded him of their similarities, wondered if that meant his feelings – but they weren’t feelings like that, damn it- were mutual.
Talking with Ed had eased his guilty conscious somewhat. The idea that his double had thought Edward was mad at him made his chest ache. At the very least, the tension between them had eased.
And that left him here. He hadn’t meant to fall asleep on the sofa, but it had been so pleasant, soft cushions, the lull of Ed’s voice…his voice? Perhaps he should be creeped out by that, but strangely, he really wasn’t.
“It’d suck having to explain everything that’s happened, and, you know, hope she’d understand why I’m all weird and stuff.”
He remembered Ed’s words from the night before, traitorous thoughts reminding him that he understood Ed perfectly well.
Ed, of course, he’d nearly forgotten. He looked down and Ed had dozed off, tipped over in his sleep. His head was pillowed against Edward’s arm, and he seemed to sleep easily. He murmured something unintelligible, burying his face against the back of the couch to block out the light.
It hit Edward then, what it all meant. He’d had that dream, been hard, still was, and there was no hiding it sitting here in his boxers. If Ed woke up now, he might never speak to him again. Edward cast about for something to cover himself with, trying to think of something, anything that would make his body stop aching so hard for release.
He didn’t want to disrupt Ed’s sleep. He sort of liked the comfortable weight of Ed’s head against his arm (certainly not because he liked Ed like that or anything, so shut up). Still, he thought he might explode if he sat here any longer, and every time Ed moved, his hair slid against Edward’s skin, or he let out a soft moan, that, if you didn’t know better, could be construed as positively sinful.
Edward wriggled out from under Ed, reclining his double against the empty couch cushions as gently and quickly as possible. He padded urgently for the bathroom, resting his head against the door once it was closed.
This was not, could not be happening to him. Years of sacrifice, and why couldn’t he just be normal for a change? He couldn’t actually want this, could he?
Still, when he shut his eyes, it was Ed splayed out, unabashedly naked behind his eyelids. He gave in with a groan, tugging his boxers down over his hips. He slid his hand forward along one hip, clasping his length in shaking fingers.
Up and down, up and down, a familiar, almost businesslike rhythm. His knees trembled, and he couldn’t get Ed out of his head. Edward teetered near the brink, thumb working frantically over the head of his cock. He let himself go, allowed himself to imagine it was Ed working him over like this, and came unraveled. He bit his lip to keep from crying out, and came with a hard shudder, his body coiling in on itself.
Edward let himself slide to the floor, unceremoniously yanking his boxers back up and wiping his hands on some tissue. His head tipped back, thudded against the bathroom wall. He still felt like screaming, desperate to figure out what was happening to him, how on earth to make it stop. Edward panted and gasped for breath, shaking his head miserably. He jumped, though, when he heard a knock at the door.
“You okay?” Ed called through the door. He sounded vaguely worried, and Edward wasn’t sure whether to be frustrated or touched by the gesture.
“F…fine,” he replied shakily. He didn’t trust his voice, not right now, and was relieved when Ed took him at his word, retreating to elsewhere in the apartment.
When he finally emerged, Ed was curled lazily on the couch again, obviously half asleep, though his nose was buried in a book. Despite his embarrassment, Edward felt calmer than he had in a while, sated and relaxed. He plopped down at the other end of the couch, fairly certain he could interact with Ed now without humiliating himself.
Ed glanced up at him, his cheeks flushing slightly. They were hidden behind long, golden bangs before Edward could even be sure what he’d seen. Edward picked up a book off the coffee table, contenting himself to lose himself in it. He tried desperately to ignore the hopeful voice at the back of his head that had seen Ed’s reaction to his presence, that urged him to do something about it.
The most frustrating part was that he’d probably not have even noticed the shift in his thoughts towards Ed, if not for Jessy. He resisted the urge to sigh in frustration at memories of the day before.
Edward flicked idly at the tag on the bouquet, a dozen red roses, and enough greenery to suffocate a small village.
“Wow, is that the same guy two weeks in a row?” he asked, wondering if he’d read the tag correctly.
“Edward! Are you teasing me?” Jessy asked, looking up from the notebook she was scribbling in.
“Hey, it’s not like you don’t deserve it. You’re on about some different guy all the time,” Edward retorted.
“Hey, at least I leave my apartment for things other than work. Have you ever even been on a date?” She asked, looking curiously at him.
“Th…that isn’t the point!” Edward wasn’t sure how to react when his flailing only seemed to induce laughter from Jessy.
“I know you’re a bit strange, but how is it you don’t have a girlfriend, anyway? It’s certainly not because you’re not a looker.”
Edward flushed, sputtering in lieu of an actual response.
“I’m sorry, I keep forgetting you’re still just a baby,” she chided gently, grinning at what he assumed were notes.
“I am not! I’m seventeen! I stopped being a kid ages ago,” Edward argued.
She nodded carefully, her mood turning a bit somber. “It’s just that… you’ve been through a lot, you’ve done things I can’t even imagine. You’re a remarkable person, but it seems like you’ve embraced all the negatives of growing up without letting yourself experience the good things too.”
“What’s it matter?” Edward asked tersely.
“You’re my friend, Ed. You just seem kind of lonely is all. I’m sure I could set you up with one of my friends,” Jessy offered, smiling conspiratorially at him.
“That…’s okay,” Edward mumbled.
“Do you just not like girls? Because that’s okay, you know. People should just love whoever they love…in fact.” Edward chose then to interrupt whatever she’d planned to say.
“Look, it’s not that I don’t appreciate the help, but… I just…I guess I don’t think about people like that.” He tried to explain, sighing in relief when she seemed to understand.
“You mean to tell me that there’s never been anyone that’s ever gotten your attention?”
“No?” Something about the way she asked it made him less sure… “Well, what do you mean exactly?”
“Someone you just like being around, no matter what your day’s been like. Someone that drives you crazy and makes you want to bang your head into a wall, or their head into a wall, but you still want to be around them, because just being near them is wonderful. Someone you find yourself wanting to do things for, just to see them smile. And no, I know you love your brother, but not quite like Al. More like… you want to just reach out and touch them, they make you feel all warm…or something like that, anyway. Ah, see, now you’ve got me babbling, and that’s just embarrassing. Anyway, what I mean is just…someone who makes you happy just by being around.” She was smiling, though tapping her fingers against her notebook as if considering something.
“No, I’ve never really met anyone like that,” Edward assured her, though, the more he thought about her words, the less sure he was that his response was the truth.
“Do I have ink on my face or something?” Ed asked, jostling Edward from his thoughts. He hadn’t even realized he’d been staring this whole time, but Ed was blushing hard, and looked more than a little uncomfortable. Edward let out a breath through his nose and shook his head.
“No, no you’re fine. I was just thinking about something and didn’t even realize I was…well you know how it is,” Edward murmured.
“I guess.” Something flickered across Ed’s face, disappointment maybe? It was there and gone, though, replaced with an absentminded, faint smile. He went back to his book, eyes soft in the daylight shining through the windows.
Someone who makes you happy just by being around
He had to admit, he did rather like Ed’s company. Even just sitting here silently, both lost in their reading was sort of relaxing. He’d never been able to put his guard down completely before, not with anyone but Al. Here he was, though, having to make a conscious effort to keep it up sometimes, because even though in his head, he was still trying to be wary, the rest of him just wanted to let go.
Someone you find yourself wanting to do things for, just to see them smile.
So, Ed wanted out of the house, needed out of the house if the way he squirmed in his seat was any indication. He wouldn’t be able to go talk to someone about getting his double hired on until Monday, but that didn’t mean they had to hang around here all weekend. He supposed the least he could do. Besides, it was something they could do together, just the two of them. It wasn’t a date of course, certainly not, just him hanging out with a friend.
Just a friend who makes me feel completely strange, he thought dismally. Still, he turned his head, calling out to get Ed’s attention. “Hey.”
Ed, for his part, seemed to truly not notice, lost in whatever it was he was reading. Edward tried again, speaking a little bit louder. Still, Ed was completely oblivious.
Finally, Edward decided that that tactic obviously wasn’t going to work. He leaned forward, gently pulling the book from Ed’s hands. His double looked up, cheeks pinking a bit as he looked up at Edward.
“I was reading that,” he murmured after a moment, blinking and shifting against the couch cushions.
“I was trying to get your attention, and you wouldn’t answer,” Edward replied.
“Well, what did you want?” Ed looked like he might reach for the book but waited for an answer from Edward.
“Get up. We’re going to go do something,” Edward announced, hoping he didn’t sound as nerve wracked as he felt. He tried taking a page from Mustang’s book, because if he didn’t ask, Ed wouldn’t think to say no, right? Still, he had to force himself to keep from cringing as he waited for a response.
“Do…what?” Ed asked warily.
“Well… I don’t know about you, but I’m starved, so I thought we could go for food or something. There’s this awesome place that does breakfast all day, and…” Ed forced himself to stop, realizing he was babbling, nervous and sure his heart was going to thud right out of his chest at any moment. Ed looked at him oddly before responding.
“Okay.” It was probably an affirmative response as Ed was already making as if to stand, but it sounded more like a question and Edward scrambled for something to say to convince his newfound friend.
“It’s not a…date or anything. I just figured, well, that you wanted out of the house, and it’s a nice day and this place I was talking about has tables outside and stuff so it could be fun, and nobody would have to cook.” He was doing it again, talking a million words a minute and Ed just looked lost, nodding in aquiescence or confusion. It was hard to tell which, really. He looked a little sad to Edward, but that didn’t even make sense. He was getting what he wanted, so what did he have to be sad about? Had he wanted it to be a date? No, that was only wishful thinking talking.
“Sounds good,” Ed said, extricating himself from the couch. “Just let me get dressed.”
Edward nodded dumbly, watching his double walk towards the bedroom. Had his double’s hips always swayed like that? Did that mean his did, too? That was just a weird question, and once Ed had disappeared into the bedroom, it occurred to him that he was still in his boxers. He headed for his own room, hastily throwing some clean clothes on, tugging his hair up into a high ponytail.
He emerged from his room to find Ed already waiting, standing in the living room, fidgeting with a glove. Edward wanted to go, and then remembered they shouldn’t go out together, not looking exactly the same like they did. It would raise too many questions.
“We…should cover up your hair or something,” he murmured, unsure of why the thought of changing Ed’s appearance made him a tiny bit sad.
“Yeah, uh, I forgot about that. Sorry.” Ed looked up, heading back towards his room. He emerged a moment later, wig in hand. Ed rested it on his head, awkwardly trying to shove his bangs beneath it. The results were far from pretty, or believable for that matter.
“Here, let me do it.” Edward grabbed the wig, heading back towards the couch and gesturing vaguely for Ed to sit. He plucked the hair tie from his double’s hair, combing his fingers through familiar golden tresses. Ed made a small sound, somewhere between a sigh and a moan. His eyes flew open, looking momentarily mortified.
“I…” Ed was blushing again, and Edward almost almost laughed, because geez, they both seemed to be doing a lot of that lately.
“It’s fine. I let Al brush my hair sometimes just cuz it feels nice,” he admitted sheepishly. It seemed to relax Ed considerably, though, and that made Edward feel better. He pulled his fingers through Ed’s hair, reveling in the way Ed sighed and leaned into the touch. He looked so peaceful like that, lips parted, eyes half closed, that Edward forgot to be bothered by the fact that his alter looked rather pretty.
Edward threaded his fingers through Ed’s hair just a little longer than necessary before pulling it into a low ponytail, flipping the end through the band as well to make it easier to hide under the wig. He gently pushed Ed’s bangs from his face, working the front of the wig along his hairline before easing it behind his ears, finally pushing the ponytail under the cap.
“There, much better,” he announced, stepping back to admire his handiwork. Ed didn’t look that much different he supposed, loose, black hair hanging around his shoulders.
“Thanks. I’ll have to learn how to do that better so that you don’t have to all the time,” he murmured.
“It’s okay. I don’t really mind.” Edward swallowed hard at his own admission, but if Ed noticed his embarrassment, he didn’t comment on it. Instead, he got up, looking into the bathroom mirror to check out the results.
“It’s not too bad, really,” he said with a small shrug, heading for the door as soon as he was satisfied that he didn’t look like an idiot. Edward followed beside him, resisting the urge to reach out and grab his hand or something. After all, this was not a date.