Pairing: RoyxEd, Alter!RoyxEd
Rating: NC-17 eventually
Author's Note: Sorry for the wait on that. I've been fighting with this chapter for a little while, and I finally like it. It's a great deal fluffier than the last one. Anyway, next one should be up shortly.
Summary: Post movie. Ed has resigned himself to being stuck on our side of the Gate. Roy tries to find a way to bring him and Al home and the ensuing accident results in both a moral and emotional dilemma.
All Chapters Here
“My brother is getting married,” Ed announced over a forkful of spaghetti that he suspected Roy made as often as he did to make sure Ed never got the chance to forget the first time he’d come over.
“To that Evelyn girl?” Roy asked, and Ed could tell he was thinking about… something.
“No, to his other girlfriend,” Ed replied sarcastically. “Yes to Evelyn.”
“When did that happen?” Roy was looking up now, his eyes more alert as if he were gauging Ed’s reaction to the news as much as listening to what he had to say.
Ed paused to check his watch. “In a few hours, I imagine.”
“It hasn’t even happened yet? Then how do you know about it?”
“Al tells me everything,” Ed replied with a very fond smile.
“And?” Roy prodded.
“And what?” Ed asked, feigning innocence.
“I do know you, Ed.” There was an amused smile as Roy shook his head at Edward.
“And…I set it up for him. He’s taking her to the observatory.” Ed stopped talking in favor of spaghetti.
“How romantic,” Roy mused. “How’d he talk you into that?”
Ed raised an eyebrow at Roy, “You can’t say no to Al. Besides, he’s my brother. I’d do anything for him. Getting permission to… borrow the observatory isn’t that big a deal.”
Roy nodded and Ed continued. “He’s already talking about a house. It’s good to see him so happy after everything, like he’s finally able to have a real life now. Fuck, if she says no…”
“She won’t,” Roy interjected.
“How would you know?” Ed asked, “You’ve only met her once.”
“You can’t say no to Al.” They shared a smile over that and returned to their meal, leaving Edward to wonder how this had gotten to be so comfortable. He could hardly remember when, half the time he’d been tempted to run from Roy, from any resemblance to his old life. It was almost spring now, over a year since they’d met, and Ed was beginning to feel like he could honestly be happy here.
“So, what about you, Ed?” Roy asked, breaking the silence, and Ed’s reverie.
“What about me? I’m not the one getting married.” Ed replied, altogether confused by the question.
“I know how much your brother means to you. I was asking how you’re holding up.” Roy’s voice was soft, understanding, though Ed was at a bit of a loss as to why.
“I’m fine,” he insisted. “Not really excited about having the apartment to myself, but Al’s happy, and I’m happy for him. Come to think of it, I’ll probably move. It’s too big for one person, and…”
“Where to?” Roy asked, before Ed could finish whatever he was meaning to say.
“I’m not leaving town, you idiot,” Ed retorted, finally catching Roy’s meaning.
Roy grinned rather mischievously, long term exposure to Ed seeming to have seeped some of the damnable niceness from him, “Well that’s a relief. I’d miss you a little.”
“Only a little, huh?” Ed asked doubtfully.
“A little,” Roy confirmed with a teasing smile. He continued when Ed only rolled his eyes. “You know, you’re always welcome to just come here.”
“What?” Ed boggled a little at the idea.
“Just move in here. It’s close to the observatory, which is convenient since you seem determined to walk everywhere. Besides, there’s plenty of room,” Roy explained, seeming rather pleased by the idea.
Ed laughed, he couldn’t help it. “Only you could make it sound like you’re proposing to me without even using the word.”
“Oh for heaven’s sake, Ed. I’m not asking you to marry me. I was just… inviting you to move in with me because it seemed like it would be more convenient for you,” Roy explained, a faint blush breaking out across his cheeks.
Ed frowned, wondering why it disappointed him slightly that Roy was only offering out of convenience. After all, it wasn’t like he wanted it to be something else. Plus, what if he did move in? All this time, and Roy was still as old fashioned as the rest of the world seemed to be. Ed managed alright with that when he could get away when the urge to just do something came along. What would he do if making an excuse to leave wasn’t an option? He thought about the offer for a moment before replying, “I wouldn’t want to impose… I mean, not that it isn’t nice of you to offer, but…”
“You’re not imposing. I’m the one who asked, remember?” Roy trailed off, and then, as if reading Edward’s mind, “And… if it would be more comfortable for you… I’ve got a spare bedroom.”
Ed wasn’t sure what to think. Did that mean Roy had not only been inviting him into his house, but into his room? Oh that was just sadistic, though, knowing Roy, it was unintentionally so. “A…sp…”
“You don’t have to use it, Ed. I was just saying… I just want you to be at ease.” Roy smiled fondly at him, and Ed was at a loss for how to even stay agitated in the face of it.
“Why are you doing this?” he asked, trying to understand.
“I’m sure you managed to completely miss this, what with being around each other so much, but I like spending time with you,” Roy replied wryly.
“Well, I get that, but why are you doing this?” Ed flailed a little, unsure of how to get his point across.
“Doing what?” Roy asked, puzzlement etched across his features.
“This. You… it’s… it’s not just this. It’s… everything. You’re always like this,” Ed frowned, realizing belatedly the way his words were running in circles.
“Like… this?” Roy’s brows furrowed, and he only looked more confused.
“Even when you’re being a pain in the ass, you’re… nice,” Ed settled on, swallowing hard as he waited for the meaning to sink in.
Roy blinked at him a few time and then the confused look vanished from his expression. His lips quirked upwards in amusement. “You really don’t get it?”
“No?” Ed replied, as much a question as anything, unsure of what it was he was missing exactly.
“That’s just… how it is when you love somebody. You do things… not because you have to, but because you want to,” Roy explained, chewing at his bottom lip as his words dawned on Edward.
“When you…love…” Ed’s eyes widened. Roy loved him? He’d known the other Roy had loved him, even if their relationship was weird and disjointed, even before he’d found the words to say it. Somehow, this time he was taken entirely by surprise.
“Yes. I love you, Ed.” Roy replied, uncharacteristically patient, even for him.
“You love me?” Ed blinked and dropped his fork, surprised to hear the words out loud, despite having already sorted it out in his head.
“I do, Edward…” Roy paused, looking almost concerned. “Look, you don’t need to say it back… or… even feel it back. I just… you deserve honesty. I wanted you to know.”
“You…why?” Ed asked, wondering what on earth he’d possibly done to even deserve the sentiment. He’d messed up at every turn, hadn’t he?
“Why not? You’re a remarkable person, Ed. You make me want to do things, have faith in things again. You’ve even got me writing again, real writing instead of those stupid news articles,” Roy grinned affectionately at Ed.
“That… was me?” Ed asked, focusing on the last bit when the idea as a whole was too much for him to muddle through.
“Well yes. Who else would it have been?”
Ed immediately felt a bit silly. After all, hadn’t he been jealous of whoever had gotten Roy writing like that? “I…you…”
“Why is it so hard to believe that I love you?” Roy asked, brows slanting down like they intended to become one with the bridge of his nose.
“You know what I’ve done,” Ed answered, his voice barely above a whisper. Roy did know, quite possibly every unpleasant detail of Ed’s life.
“You are more than the sum of your regrets, Edward,” Roy insisted, reaching out to thumb at Ed’s cheek bone.
“But…” Ed was honestly at a loss for words.
“No, Ed. Don’t question this. I’m not asking you to return the sentiment, but please don’t question that I do mean what I said. I don’t care what you’ve done. I care who you are.” Roy’s fingers drifted, tapping softly at Ed’s chest to punctuate his point.
It was too much, too much and he couldn’t think, could hardly breathe. Roy loved him? He shook his head, desperate for air, and finally grated out, “I… have…to go.”
“Ed? I’m sorry for upsetting you,” Roy frowned, concern for Ed obviously overriding his own hurt feelings.
“What? No, no, it’s nothing like that. I just…need to do something,” Ed insisted. “I’ll be back. I…maybe not tonight, I don’t know, but I’ll be back. I promise.”
Before Roy could say anything else, before Ed could second guess himself, he was out the door, sucking in a deep breath of fresh air. Roy didn’t come after him, though, and he made his way briskly down the walkway. The hammering of his heart began to calm, the further he got from Roy’s house, and it stopped thudding in his ears enough that he could hear his own thoughts once more.
Roy loved him. It was less a question, and more a simple statement. Even if it was awkward to accept, he did know it to be true. It did, however, bring into question what he felt about Roy. He’d loved the other Roy, the one he’d left behind. It had been awkward and messy, but he had loved him. The way he reacted to the Roy of this world was entirely different. There was no animosity between them, though the more time they spent together, the more they bantered, simple teasing, rather than insulting. This Roy was sweet, and far more gentle than the one in Amestris, the way that one might have been had he not been touched by war and despair.
Ed frowned a little. Those differences no longer disturbed him. He no longer felt as if he had to cling to them either, to force himself to see that this was not the same person. He liked Roy simply for who he was, resemblance to the other or not, and he could imagine being happy with what he had, really truly happy, for as long as Roy would have him.
Actually, yes, he did rather love Roy. It occurred to him then that he’d left rather abruptly, and Roy probably didn’t have the slightest idea why. Feeling lighter than he had in ages, Ed turned around, heading back for Roy’s house. After all, Roy had been honest with him. It was only equivalent that he do the same.
The door opened almost immediately after he rapped on it, though Roy looked a bit tired. “Ed?”
“Fuck, I guess it’s kinda late. I didn’t wake you up did I?” Ed asked, wondering if he ought to feel bad for coming back so late.
“No, come in. I just… didn’t think you were coming back tonight,” Roy replied, swinging the door open to let Ed in, and motioning vaguely at the couch.
“Sorry about that,” Ed murmured, flopping down on said couch with soft sigh. “I just needed to think.”
“I’m sorry. It wasn’t really fair of me to say that…” Roy started, but Ed shook his head to cut him off, waiting until Roy sat down beside him.
“It was about what you said,” he explained, turning his head to look at Roy.
“About moving in?” Roy teased, only the slight waver in his voice belying the nervousness he felt.
“You ass,” Ed groused, glad that even this hadn’t messed up the dynamic between them.
“Perhaps,” Roy finally conceded.
“I… When you say you love me, do you mean…” Ed began, a nervous shiver threaded through the breath he took.
“I mean what I said,” Roy explained, not seeming to even notice his own actions as he leaned closer, fingers dusting across Ed’s jaw. “I mean that… I want to be with you, want you in my life as long as you’re willing.”
“Now you really do sound you’re proposing,” Ed teased, trying to ease the tension a little.
“Brat,” Roy grumbled, lips sweeping over Ed’s as if to stave off any retort. His mouth worked in a soft murmur against Ed’s, tongue sliding against the roof of his mouth. He didn’t pull away until Ed had gone a little slack against him, eyes somewhat cloudy.
“Should keep being one if it gets you to kiss me like that,” Ed replied softly, unable to drum up even the will to scowl when Roy chuckled a bit at the sentiment.
Ed drew in a sharp breath, reigning in the urge to kiss Roy all over again, long enough at least to speak. “I really was thinking about what you said.”
“Oh?” Roy looked nervous all over again, drawing back a bit, until Ed reached out to stop him.
“I love you, too.” Ed ignored the astonished look Roy gave him in favor of ducking his head forward. His lips pulled at Roy’s, and he fought the urge to smile as Roy sank back against the couch. Ed couldn’t remember when Roy’s arms found their way around him, didn’t even notice until fingers tightened in the back of his shirt.
Ed drew his head back after a moment, grinning at the soft, bereft sound that bubbled from Roy’s lips. Roy’s hands pressed at his back, pulling him closer, and Ed couldn’t help it. He kissed and nipped at Roy’s lips, fingers threading through impossibly dark hair. His tongue slid against Roy’s, and the shiver he got in response was nothing short of intoxicating.
Ed couldn’t remember the last time he’d felt like this, nervous and wanting like he was still a teenager, like he didn’t already know exactly what he was doing. Everything was different, now, though, and he was learning all over again. There was a shuddery sigh against his lips, and Roy pressed closer, glassy eyed and acting mostly on instinct.
The feeling was contagious, and Ed worked Roy’s bottom lip over with teeth and tongue, pleased by the startled gasp it elicited. His mouth trailed wet, heated kisses to the corner of Roy’s mouth and along his jaw until Roy was tilting his head back, fingers curling and uncurling against Ed’s back. Ed reached the junction of Roy’s jaw and throat, and couldn’t help himself, teeth sinking down as his lips mouthed at pale skin.
“Ohh…” Roy let out a stuttered moan, his breath ragged as his fingers pressed down Ed’s spine, desperate for something to hang on to. Even through his shirt, they felt electric, and Ed’s eyes flew wide.
He needed to stop, had to stop if he didn’t want to take advantage of the best thing that had happened to him since he came here. He didn’t want to, though, and whimpered slightly even as he gently pulled Roy’s hands away.
“What are you doing?” Roy asked, still looking a little dazed.
“I have to go,” Ed whispered apologetically, trying to ignore the disappointed frown he got in return.
“You can’t do…do…that and then just leave,” Roy complained, and some part of Ed was amused that for once he wasn’t the only one who seemed frustrated.
“I love you and I’ll move in with you, but I have to work tomorrow, so I’m going home now.” Ed was careful only to kiss Roy on the cheek, certain that if he met his lips again right now, he wouldn’t be able to stop.
“You sure you won’t stay?” Roy asked, looking a little mournful.
“Al is going to be home soon and want to spazz at me that he’s getting married. He’ll be awfully disappointed if I’m not home. Besides, if I stay, I’ll never get to sleep and I have to work tomorrow.” Ed reluctantly pulled himself up from the couch. Roy nodded, though the look on his face was not particularly agreeable.
“Goodnight, Roy.” Ed smiled fondly, making his way to the door.
“Goodnight,” Roy replied, pausing for a moment, “And Ed?”
“Yeah?” Ed stopped at the door.
“I love you.” If Roy was bothered by being left in his current state, he didn’t seem so any longer. Ed was willing to bet the sentiment was appreciated when all was said and done.
“Love you, too,” Ed replied, surprised by how easily the words slipped off his tongue. With a pleased grin, he turned his back and was gone.