Prompt: 100moods #26 Determined
Author's Note: Ed comes home from the other side of the gate to find Roy is no longer where he left him. Ed trudges out to Roy's post to give him a piece of his mind.
Disclaimer: I don't own Fullmetal Alchemist or any of its characters.
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The wind bit and slapped at his face, howling so loudly Ed could hardly hear himself think. The snow sucked at his booted feet, threatening to trap him out here in the middle of nowhere. His exposed cheeks hurt and his automail port clenched threateningly until he hissed in pain, and he’d be damned if Roy wasn’t going to pay for this.
Ed looked around, trying to get his bearings, but there wasn’t much to go off of. As far as he could see, the world around him was nondescript, a blanket of white that glistened in the sun and offered no solace. Only that it was home kept him sane.
The miles stretched out endlessly until Ed could hardly remember a time that didn’t involve snow crunching beneath his feet. He tugged his coat more tightly around his frame, wishing he’d thought to wear something a bit warmer than the brown waistcoat that had made its way home with him. Desperate for a little more of a shield against the ice, he pulled the tie from his hair, ponytail falling in a golden spray that fanned across his neck and shoulders. It wasn’t much, but it helped marginally.
Far ahead, the sun looked to be just considering sinking towards the horizon. He was not, was not getting stuck out here in the snow and the dark just because some idiot had decided to become a crazy hermit in his absence. Ed struggled to move faster, hoping beyond reason that he was at least going the right way.
Ed grinned when the little outpost came into sight. Smoke threaded up into the sky, sickly as if in danger of snuffing out completely. He only saw it at all because the sun was dipping downward, and the white clouds were hard to miss when marring the violet backdrop of the sky.
Ed would have run if he could have worked up the energy, if he could have freed himself from the snow enough to accomplish it. He settled for wading through said snow, rehearsing over and over just what he was going to say. Did you think I didn’t miss you, too? But you don’t see me off hiding out somewhere, you jerk. How dare you just shut down like this? I ought to kick your ass for that just on principle.
The stream of words he was going to say dwindled away once he was faced with the door. He hesitated for only a moment before rapping on the wooden slap with metal knuckles. Despite his giddiness because god, it’d been three years, Ed set his jaw, struggling to hang onto the anger that had kept him moving the whole way here.
The door creaked open, and Ed’s lips parted ready to unleash every angry thought he’d ever had at Roy Mustang for pulling this on him. The words died in his throat, faced with Roy in the flesh. One dark, weary eye gazed at him, wary and confused. The other was hidden beneath a patch that crept across nearly half of Roy’s face. His hair hung disheveled across his forehead, but it was no worse than the rest of him.
“Edward?” Ed’s name was a cracked and fragile thing, as if Roy expected him to be some sort of apparition.
“Are you gonna let me in, or what? It’s freezing out here,” was all Ed could get to come out, and so he settled for that. Still staring at him in utter astonishment, Roy stepped aside, inviting Ed into the relative warmth of the outpost.
The door was closed behind him, and Ed might have managed to say what he meant to, but there were arms around him shaking so hard with disbelief and restrained hope that Edward was helpless but to crumble into it. Roy’s face was pressed hard into the side of his neck, and the one time the man let his guard down without a fight Ed couldn’t even gloat because all he wanted was to never let go. He ignored the sharp press of the edge of Roy’s eye patch against his jaw as he squirmed to turn around and return the embrace.
“I thought…I thought…You never came back, and your brother looked everywhere for you. Ed and… What was I meant to think? You never came back, and… I thought you were dead...” the words were shaky, muffled against Ed’s snow chilled skin, and tumbling incoherently together. This was nothing like the man he’d left behind, cool and confident, the truth of his feelings usually carefully shrouded behind a careless mask. All this time he’d been away and he’d pined and felt like he might be dying inside, and never once had it occurred to him that it could possibly be hurting Roy more.
Every cold, spiteful word that had pushed Ed here seeped back to the recesses of his mind in the face of a ruined, almost lover, every bit as damaged as he was. An endless chasm he couldn’t cross and time that felt eternal and finally, finally he was where he belonged. Of all the snippy, angry things he’d meant to say, all that came out was, “And now... I’m home.”