Rating: NC-17 (just barely for this chapter but it's there)
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37692 / 50000 words. 75% done!
So, it only took me 75% of my word count to accomplish it, but holy crap, actual smut. Virginal :fail smut, but smut none the less. Also, this is totally my longest chapter to date at 4,271 words.
“Anyone home?” Al’s voice was muffled in the living room, and Edward might have answered, but his double beat him to it. His little brother came to his room, apparently taking the closed door as an invitation to talk through it.
“You guys are on your own for dinner,” Al announced.
“Why? What’s up?” Edward forced himself to be conversational in spite of the pain and embarrassment that being interrupted like that had induced.
“I’m going to dinner with Valerie,” came the reply through the door. Valerie… Edward seemed to remember Al talking about her a few times, and only now did it dawn on him that his little brother had a girlfriend. The protective part of him wanted to snarl at the idea, but he didn’t. After all, he’d worked and bled and nearly died to give Al his life back. What was wrong with his little brother actually using it?
“See you tonight,” Edward murmured, hoping it didn’t sound as strained as it felt.
“Uh… actually probably not,” Al sounded nervous, his voice squeaking. He might have laughed if not for his own discomfort.
“Why not?” Edward growled protectively. There was no answer other than his little brother shuffling away from the door, and if he hadn’t still been obviously half hard, he’d have followed after. Well, he could always deal with it later. His little brother had to come back eventually.
Al came and went, and some part of Edward was entirely certain that his own terrible luck had dictated getting interrupted like that. His heart pounded, he wanted so badly it hurt, and all he could do was hide until Al left. It would have been fixable, he supposed, but there was no way he was doing that, not when his little brother was just in the living room.
Eventually, there was a cordial goodbye and the slam of the front door shutting. Edward waited a few minutes before emerging, his nerves still thrumming with the feel of lips and teeth and mismatched fingers. He looked around, but Ed seemed to have hidden away in his own room, leaving Edward at a total loss. What was he meant to do from here? It wasn’t so simple as just picking up where they’d left off.
Where they’d left off... Edward clamped a hand over his mouth, eyes widening as the truth sank in. What they’d been doing…what they’d almost done… He scrubbed his face with his palm, trying to sort out what he was supposed to feel about that. He’d known they needed to sort this out one way or another, but somehow the reality of what had happened hit a lot harder than when he’d only been imagining what kissing Ed would be like.
The kicker of it all was he hadn’t actually solved anything. All he’d accomplished was starting something he wasn’t sure he could finish. No, that wasn’t true either. He was never willing to just give up, to accept failure as a possibility. It was more a matter of, Ed might not let him. After all, he had sort of run away when he’d heard Al.
There hadn’t been any other option, though! He couldn’t tell Al about this, not when he wasn’t sure for himself what ‘this’ even was. For all he knew, it’d be some passing fancy. Maybe the allure of it was in wanting, and once he didn’t need to just want anymore, he’d lose interest and go back to some semblance of normalcy. Edward already knew, deep down, that there was no truth to that, that every part of him was all or nothing, but he allowed himself the delusion. The alternative frightened him more. The potential that he was setting himself up to care that much, begging to break his own heart when Ed had to leave, was not something he could let himself think about. For now, he’d let himself believe it was just curiosity, nothing beyond the physical, and leave it at that.,
Edward stood outside the door of the makeshift guest bedroom. He raised his hand to knock, pausing with his knuckles scant inches from the door. Maybe Ed wouldn’t even want to talk to him. What he’d instigated, it wasn’t like he’d asked if that was what Ed had wanted, too. No, that wasn’t right. Logically, he knew it was a mutual thing, whatever it was they were doing. Ed gave as good as he got, after all. It didn’t stop the guilt gnawing at his stomach.
That was another thing people never mentioned. Wanting someone just made you all dumb. It wasn’t enough that Ed was breaking his concentration, invading his thoughts until Edward was up to his ears in the possibilities. Now he wasn’t even able to be entirely rational, because suddenly caring about what someone else thought was robbing him of that, too. The worst part was, he knew he was being silly and still couldn’t seem to stop. Maybe it was just him, though. He never did really get people as a whole, and this was… new.
It occurred to him then that he was still staring at the door to Ed’s room, hand poised to knock. He withdrew it, stepping out further into the hall. What was he supposed to say, anyway? No, maybe it’d be better to leave things alone for a little while, go for a walk and get his head straight.
His feet carried him aimlessly through Central. He passed by buildings, none of any more consequence than the last. Edward had thought that creating a little distance would help, but really it didn’t. Footsteps echoed a path he’d walked rather frequently with his double. The breeze whispered stammering confessions in his ears, mischievously mimicking hesitant touches against his skin.
Edward growled at no one in particular, scarcely noticing the way a startled man jumped out of his way. He scuffed his heels against the sidewalk, dragging his shoes over the paved sidewalks. It didn’t even make sense to him, really. He’d put his feelings out in the open, and the way Ed responded had left no question as to whether it was mutual. Why the hell was he out here, then? Somewhere along the way, it seemed they’d only made things more complicated.
“Edward? What are you doing here?” Edward looked up to find Mustang staring at him, Central Headquarters a stately, gray backdrop.
“I…don’t know. I was just getting some fresh air,” Edward replied with a shrug. He turned away to continue walking, only mildly surprised when Roy fell into step beside him.
“What do you want?” he asked, once it was clear Roy planned to tag along.
“You looked like you could use some company,” Roy murmured. “What’s on your mind?”
“Nothing,” Edward grumbled. It still agitated him sometimes, the way it felt like Roy could see right through him.
Roy raised a brow but said nothing, seemingly content to keep Edward company in relative silence. They walked together, slowly making their way back towards Edward’s apartment. It occurred to him then that maybe talking would help, to clear his mind where he didn’t seem able to alone. Roy was the closest thing he had to a real friend aside from Ed, who he couldn’t talk to for obvious reasons, and Al, who he was not going to put this on until absolutely necessary.
“Is it always like this?” Edward asked finally.
“Is what always like this?” Roy asked, turning to look at Edward, but never breaking stride.
“Liking someone. Does it really make everyone act this stupid?”
“I always wondered if you were ever going to get around to finding a girlfriend,” Roy murmured.
“No,” Edward squeaked, flailing his arms, “I don’t have a girlfriend.”
“What are you asking about, then?” Roy asked, his attention now entirely on Edward, obviously waiting for a response. Edward felt his cheeks burn and hung his head, the words stuck in his throat before he blurted them out, barely above a whisper.
“I…had…I almost had…uhh… with…my…the, the other me,” he forced out finally. Roy looked genuinely surprised for a moment, but said nothing particularly judgemental.
“Well, I can’t say I expected that,” he responded finally.
“What the hell am I supposed to do? There’s got to be something wrong with me, right? I mean, I can’t possibly like him…like that, can I?” Now that Roy hadn’t laughed or seemed disgusted at his behavior, it was oddly relieving to have someone to confide in, even if it embarrassed him beyond reason.
“Well, it’s not exactly a common situation, Ed. Most people never even face that as an option,” Roy replied carefully.
“How do you make something like that go away?” Edward asked miserably. If he could just stop, maybe things would get back to normal eventually.
“Why would you want to? I’ll assume it’s a mutual interest.” It astounded Edward, the way Roy could discuss this so casually, like there was nothing freakish about your friend wanting to fuck his own double.
“I can’t even think straight anymore. What good is liking someone when it only makes everything more complicated? Besides, what kind of weirdo does this make me?” Edward seethed in frustration.
“You’ve always been a rather unique person, Edward. I see no reason to expect any differently from you in matters of love.” They might as well have been talking about what to have for dinner for the way Roy treated the subject.
“Who said anything about love?” Edward squawked.
“After everything you just told me, my choice in terminology is what sets you off?” Roy asked, laughing for the first time since he’d joined Edward on the sidewalk. Edward scowled, but said nothing.
“Look, I’m sure it’s confusing, and that’s normal. All new things take time to adjust to. What’s more important is…does he make you happy?”
“The hell do you mean? I said I almost had sex with him, not that I asked him to marry me,” Edward shrieked, flushing bright red when he realized what he’d just said, out in the middle of the sidewalk, no less.
“Okay, fine. Do you like being around him? Obviously, there’s something there if it’s enough to make you stop being oblivous,” Roy said wryly.
“I’m not oblivious,” Edward argued.
“No, of course not. Am I to assume you’ve completely ignored every waitress who’s ever hit on you out of cruelty then?”
“Waitresses don’t hit on me. What on earth are you on about?” Edward eyed Roy warily, wondering what exactly he’d missed. Roy, however, ignored the question.
“My point is, that, even if the resemblance is a little…eerie, he’s struck a nerve. Nothing about your life has ever been normal, so why should this be any different? Better to be happy at the expense of normalcy, than to rob yourself of being happy for the sake of other people’s expectations.” Roy looked fondly at Edward, his eyes full of sympathy.
Edward toyed with the thought, for a while. In the end, he decided Roy was probably right, per usual. That just left the matter of actually dealing with Ed, who was probably every bit as spooked as he’d been. Well, while they were talking about embarrassing things…
“I’m not really sure how I’m supposed to handle this,” he admitted quietly.
“What the hell am I supposed to be doing? I mean, it was easy when we were just friends, but…am I supposed to be acting differently or something? You know, alchemy and things, I get, but… fuck, I can’t even think straight half the time. Oh hell, you know, he’s probably still all freaked out. I should get back and talk to him… or whatever I’m supposed to be doing.” Edward kicked idly at a rock on the sidewalk, feeling like he was just talking in circles.
“People are different, and so are relationships. It’s just something you figure out along the way, really. I’m sure it’ll come to you eventually. Why don’t you pick something up for dinner and go back to talk to him?” Roy rested a hand on Edward’s shoulder, mouth flicking up in the briefest of smiles.
“I…thanks, for not laughing at me or thinking I was weird or something,” Edward muttered, offering an awkward grin in return.
“Oh no, you’re definitely strange. I’ve always known that, though, so this is just par for the course. It’s certainly not the worst or the weirdest thing you’ve ever done.” They stopped at a corner, and Roy squeezed a hand on Edward’s shoulder reassuringly.
“Well, thanks anyway.” Edward smiled in earnest, much of the tension he’d felt earlier finally seeping away.
“Someone’s got to keep you from being a total wreck, and I get the feeling this is something you’re not terribly inclined to talk to your brother about.”
“Al? I couldn’t do that! He really would think I was a freak, and after everything else he’s put up with from me… I just can’t tell him… not that,” Edward argued.
“Edward, your brother loves you. There is nothing you could do that will make him not love you, and you know it. Besides, you can’t hide it from him forever,” Roy chided.
“I don’t even know what exactly I’m doing. I…I’ll tell him eventually,” Edward finally gave. Roy was right about that, too, and if anyone would understand him, it was Al. One step at a time, though. First, there was Ed to tend to.
They parted ways at the corner, and Edward stopped at a corner deli to pick up dinner as Roy had suggested. He was glad, not for the first time, of their similarities. At least it made picking up food a little easier. He trudged home, arms so laden with food he could hardly see over the bag. It was a short walk back to the aparment, and he manuevered quite determinedly up the stairs, managing not to drop anything on the way.
Edward didn’t let himself stall, barging in before he had the time to think. He marched straight for the kitchen, dumping his bags on the table, and then off to look for Ed. A quick look down the hall, and he could see the door to Ed’s bedroom, wide open, the room empty. The apartment was dark, and Edward almost thought perhaps his double had left. He was about to go back out the door to go look when he caught sight of a familiar figure, leaning against the railing of the balcony.
“Hey,” Edward murmured, standing at the threshold to the balcony. Any other time he might have laughed at the way Ed jumped. As it was, seeing his double only brought the tension back, coursing threateningly through him.
“Oh…hi,” Ed replied, the words nearly stammered. His whole body was rigid and he looked very much like a giant skittish housecat. It would have been an easier thing to handle, Edward supposed, if he didn’t feel very much the same. He could fix this, though, right? Dinner, that was a start.
“I brought back food,” Edward announced, and finally something other than nervousness flicked across Ed’s features.
“Thanks,” he murmured, following Edward without any argument. They ate dinner in relative silence, both glad for the distraction food offered. Edward almost found himself dreading when they were finished, and would have to actually face each other.
Finally, he had no other choice. The two of them got up, both apparently getting the idea to clear the table at the same time. Ed flushed when their hands touched, both reaching for the same container. Edward swallowed hard, forcing himself to speak.
“I…about earlier. I didn’t…umm, I know I didn’t ask before and I should have and what I mean is… Is it… okay?” Edward babbled nervously, and almost kept going when he realized there was an echo to his words, that Ed was asking him the exact same thing. He couldn’t help the laughter that bubbled up at the realization. Ed grinned back, his whole body visibly relaxing.
Before Edward had a chance to say more, Ed had launched himself forward, pressing sloppy kisses over his mouth. Their awkwardness was only matched by their enthusiasm as fingers scrabbled, tangling through hair, pulling the ties free. Edward groaned as he was nudged back against the table, sending them both toppling on top of it.
Ed’s lips worked feverishly over him, more familiar than before, but new all the same. Edward remembered distantly that he’d read about things like this, probably some romance novel of Al’s when he’d run out of reading material. They always said first times weren’t meant to be like this. They were meant to be slow and sweet, and probably not on the kitchen table. Then again, as Roy had said, when had he ever done anything normally?
To be honest, it wasn’t the idea of what losing one’s virginity was supposed to be like that changed his mind. It was more a matter of self preservation. After all, if jerking off made him tired, this probably would too, and somehow he wasn’t terribly fond of the idea of falling asleep out here for Al to find. There’d be no explaining it away then. Ed seemed to be having a similar dilemma, growling in aggravation even as he pulled away, holding out a hand to help Edward up.
How they made it down the hall was anyone’s guess, but somewhere along the line, they relaxed. The two of them discovered some semblance of rhythm, eased along by their similiarities. Their lips slid wetly together, less like they were attacking than before. Edward relieved Ed of his shirt far less violently this time, too lost in discovering the way fingers felt sliding down his spine to notice as it fluttered to the floor.
Ed’s lips trailed kisses randomly across his throat, as if his double were determined to taste every inch of him. He felt himself pressed against the wall, and there was no time to even consider arguing before Ed’s hips ground against his. He knew what want was like, but that was new, the sensation completely alien to him. It took him a moment to realize the low moan he heard was from his own throat. Ed grinned against his neck and rocked forward again, hissing in pleasure at the contact.
Eventually, they managed to inch down the hall, nearly tumbling into Edward’s bedroom. Ed froze for a second, eyes wide as the gravity of the situation dawned on him. Edward kicked the door shut, easing his own case of nerves by lunging forward once more, his tongue flicking out over whatever bare skin he could reach. Ed murmured encouragement, a choked wail bubbling from his lips as Edward’s teeth found a nipple, toying curiously with it. Edward was finding he was almost as enthralled by the sounds his alter made as he was by the way this felt.
Six fumbling steps and Ed’s knees caught on the mattress, sending them both sprawling back on the bed. Ed’s breath fled his lungs in a soft whoosh, and he gasped for a moment, trying to coax it back. Edward frantically moved off of him, afraid the fall had spoiled everything all over again.
He was leaning worriedly over Ed when he felt it, warm fingers sliding haltingly down his arm. Ed looked so very… soft just then, the hurriedness of their earlier encounter eased a bit. The lamp was off, but light still shone through the curtains, casting them both in golden hues. It was strangely familiar, as if the Ed in his dream had stepped out of that pristine white room to grace his bed. Ed’s lips were parted, red from kissing and faintly parted. It was too much to resist, and he leaned down pressing his mouth over Ed’s.
When he pulled away, he was surprised to find Ed looking rather crossly at him. He swallowed once, forcing himself to speak despite the effort it took, “What’s wrong?”
“You kissed me,” Ed muttered, blushing all the way to his nose. Whatever romance had been conjured up in Edward’s head in the proceeding moments promptly vanished as he realized that yes, Ed was indeed very much like him.
“So?” Edward shot back, leaning down to nip at Ed’s throat. He grinned at the gasp he got for his effort.
“I wanted you to take your damn shirt off,” Ed grated out, reaching up to tug on the offending fabric. The buttons popped open one by one, and Edward let out an undignified squeak as Ed’s human fingers grazed the bare skin of his chest. Nails skittered down his breastbone, trailing over his stomach. They halted, inches above his waist, and he wasn’t sure whether to be disappointed or relieved. Ed looked almost startled, as if he’d not expected to make it this far. His eyes flicked up to Edward’s and then squeezed shut as he drew in a breath, visibly steeling himself.
Ed reached up once more, both hands finding their way to his sides, skimming their way down to settle upon his hips. Ed’s fingers dug in and Edward could feel the pressure of it, even through his pants as he was pulled down. Ed arched up, and they met somewhere in the middle, the friction delicious despite the layers of leather between them. Ed seemed to grow braver as he lost coherence, palms straying, sliding over Edward’s butt in an attempt to bring them closer, to press harder.
Edward’s breath caught as his double’s hands moved forward again, the clasp of his pants catching on Ed’s fingers. He felt them tugged open, though Ed made no move to actually pull them off, fingers trembling as they brushed against the waistline of Edward’s boxers. Edward was finally to a point where lust simply overrode embarrassment and he rocked forward, pressing against Ed’s hand.
Even through his boxers, the contact was enough to short circuit any semblance of coherence he had left. It was all new, absolutely nothing like touching himself ever was, and it left him breathless, his body pleading for more. Lost to the world except for this, he leaned forward, wrapping himself around his alter. Ed growled in frustration, shoving his hand further between them. The result was fingers worming their way beneath his boxers, surprising in their warmth as they pressed against his cock.
“Ahh…” The sound was hiccuped and hoarse and he shivered, leaning his head on Ed’s shoulder. Automail worked his pants over his hips, awkward and frantic once more, reminding him that he wasn’t the only one here. He yanked uselessly at Ed’s pants until his double thought to lift his hips, and his double’s hand left him for a moment as they shuffled out of the remainder of their clothes.
There was a long, uncomfortable moment once they realized they were both in Edward’s bed, stark naked. Ed’s eyes darted away first, tongue nervously wetting his lips as he stared out the window. Edward had never been quite so fixated on the headboard before, except that at the edge of the headboard, where it met the pillows, was a lock of gold. His eyes followed it without meaning to, leading obediently down to Ed’s face.
Ed’s cheeks were still pink but he managed to hold Edward’s gaze, forcing a small, lost smile. They might have stayed like that except Edward’s human shoulder was getting sore and he shifted, rocking their now bare hips together. Edward let out a startled moan, surprised to hear its echo on Ed’s lips. His double looked entirely stunned, as if this had never even occurred to him. He tilted his head back in the pillows, groaning encouragement when Edward worked up the courage to do it again.
Ed’s arms wrapped around Edward, dragging their bodies together. He moved in earnest, pleasantly surprised at the tremors it sent down his spine, every nerve burning on the edge of release. It never happened that fast, and he almost stopped, panicking that he was about to embarrass himself. In the end, he buried his head against Ed’s neck, teeth sinking in as he struggled to stifle another moan. Ed’s arms flailed, shaking hard against his back. His alter rocked his hips furiously, and Edward could feel as much as hear the low, keening wail that ripped from his throat. It was enough, too much really, and he came in ragged gasps, harder than he ever remembered on his own.
They both sank, completely limp against the blankets. Ed whimpered beneath him, blushing hard as if he was just now realizing they were naked all over again. Edward was vaguely grateful for their similarities just then. It made his acute awareness of how long he hadn’t managed to hold out a little less embarrassing.
Ed made a face when they pulled apart, glancing at the sticky mess across their stomachs. Edward considered going to clean up, but, as predicted he was much too tired to move. Instead, he squirmed beneath the blankets, pulling them up around Ed as well. There was a brief struggle as they tried to both get comfortable, resulting in him gruffly tugging Ed against his chest, mess and all.
For once the silence between them was entirely comfortable and he let his eyes slide shut, burrowing his face a little into the pillow. Steady breaths puffed across his neck as Ed nuzzled against it. He thought he felt a soft press of lips to his skin, but he might have imagined that. After all, he was awfully tired.