Rating: PG-13 (eventual R or NC-17)
Summary: I wrote this for a prompt over at the kinkmeme. The request was "Roy ends up maimed in some way, maybe from being captured/tortured; Ed is the one who finds/rescues/takes care of him" It was meant to be a oneshot, but it's run away with me. I wrote part two tonight instead of doing my homework, so it should be up in the next day or two.
Disclaimer: I don't own Fullmetal Alchemist or any of its characters.
The rest of my fics are here.
He dreamt of fire. It was a small thing, a faint flicker that lapped ineffectively at the crushing darkness he was shrouded in. He shrank away, retreating further into the safety of the black nothingness that surrounded him.
Something caught, the faint flicker rising hungrily. The darkness itself seemed to ignite until the flames were licking their way upward. Fueled on the darkness itself, the fire crackled and popped, inching towards Roy. There was nowhere left to hide, the abyss itself sundered under the onslaught of smoldering heat.
Roy backed up, searching frantically for who might be controlling the flames, for some way to put them out. It was hot, too hot, his uniform stifling and clinging to his skin. He needed the jacket off, some small measure of relief from the oppressive heat. Roy reached up to tug his collar loose, eyes widening in terror. Rough fabric scraped at his throat and he jerked his hands away, gasping in horror as he stared at his hands.
Pristine white fabric was tailored around his hand. The arrays on the back of his gloves looked innocent enough, but Roy was panicked in his efforts to get them off anyway. It was as if he himself controlled the flames, inviting them closer even as he struggled to stop.
Sharp and stinging, Roy howled in pain when the first of the flames reached him. It crawled leisurely along his flesh, oblivious to the agony he was in. Legs, torso, finally along his cheek and all that was left of the world was blinding, blazing light.
Roy lurched up from the hospital bed, clutching at the ruined side of his face. Pain shot through his body at the unexpected movement and he bit his lip to stifle a pained whimper. His palm slid over bandages wrapped across his burnt cheek and eye, trying to make sense of what was going on.
“It’s just a bandage. It’s not gonna suffocate you in your sleep or anything,” Ed mumbled, his voice slurred with sleep. Roy glanced warily around the dark hospital room, his good eye finally settling on the room’s other occupant.
Ed was sitting up, blinking to clear his vision. He was perched in a recliner on Roy’s blind side, his gaze flicking sleepily over Roy. The moon filtered in through the blinds, bathing him in clean, white light. It was comfortingly nothing like the red and orange flames that haunted Roy’s dreams.
“What’re you doing here?” Roy whispered, surprised he could manage even that. Ed scrubbed a human hand over his face.
“I’m sleeping. What does it look like?” he mumbled before correcting himself, “Well I was sleeping and then you were freaking out and I thought you were gonna fall off the damn bed.”
Roy ignored the bruise to his pride. There wasn’t much left, anyway and at least Edward wasn’t being pitying about it. He swallowed a few times, rubbing at his throat until Ed shoved a glass of water at him. Roy took a few sips, sighing at the momentary relief it offered. “I meant why here.”
“Where else would I go? Al’s back in Central and Hawkeye isn’t gonna be here for a day or two. She’s swamped with all the stuff she’s been trying to keep up with with your sorry ass missing.” Ed settled back in the chair he’d laid claim to, obviously not planning to leave.
“How…long has it been?” Roy cringed even as he asked, not entirely sure he wanted the answer.
“Hakuro gave up on you a month ago,” Ed answered tersely. There was a shadow of the demon again, the expression that promised unrelenting vengeance that Ed normally kept safely tamped down. Roy watched Ed’s hands ball into fists, so tight his nails had to be digging into his human palm.
The silence was tired and painful, but there were no words to breach it. To thank Edward would be to admit he could not have escaped on his own, crumpling any remnants of his self confidence. To apologize would only belittle Edward’s own sacrifices, and yet he could not stop himself.
“I apologize that it was necessary for you to intervene.” It was clinical and safe and maybe might jog some of the tenuous balance between them back into shape.
Edward had never been one for balance. He snarled at Roy. “Oh fuck you, Mustang. Quit acting like you’re so god damned untouchable.”
“Excuse me?” Roy asked, exhausted and utterly baffled by Ed’s sudden outburst. His head hurt again and in the face of an angry Edward he was suddenly very tired.
“Do you think somehow I managed to miss what they were up to? What they did to you? Fucking alchemist tried to attack me with your gloves and I… I…” Ed’s anger was no longer directed at Roy himself. His lips twisted into a wrathful scowl, but even that wasn’t enough to stifle the faint, guilt wracked tremor that wracked Ed’s body.
“Fullmetal, I…” Roy began, scrambling for some semblance of normalcy.
Ed as always, seemed to have other ideas, and cut him off, barging ahead with urgent, heated words. “I lost it. I expected to go down there and find your fucking corpse and then he… he had your gloves and I just… “
Grasping at fragments of Edward’s rambling words, Roy eventually managed to put things together. He wouldn’t have been surprised if the alchemist wasn’t the only casualty of Edward’s wrath, but he didn’t dare give voice to the thought. There was no restitution for costing someone their morals and control. Ed had always been a force to be reckoned with, as spastic as he was powerful. Roy feared for the soul faced down by his completely focused hatred. Even Ed, it turned out, was not incorruptible.
“I’m sorry, Ed,” Roy murmured. He simply hadn’t the strength to hold Ed up, not when he could not stand on his own. He half expected another angry outburst, but Ed only shook his head.
“I should be apologizing to you. If I’d just gotten there sooner,” Ed paused, flopping back in his chair with a heavy sigh. “Anyway, g’night Mustang. You should sleep or something probably.”
Roy eased himself back down to the bed with a pained whimper. He tried to roll onto his side, but the arm beneath him was burnt and still hurting from days spent yanked up over his head. He groaned in spite of his best efforts not to, and Ed rolled over to look at him.
“Do you need anything?” Ed asked awkwardly, propping himself on his elbow.
The last thing he wanted was to go back to sleep, to be haunted again by flames he could not put out. Neither did he think he could stomach the empty, loneliness that threatened to well up. He’d spent too much time alone with his own fears, and caustic as Edward was, he was still enough to silence them for a time. Unwilling to sacrifice what fragments of his pride he could piece together meant not admitting as much. He only stared at the ceiling, hoping Ed was not truly looking at him. “I’m fine.”
“Kay. G’night then,” Ed murmured as if he’d not noticed anything out of the ordinary. Roy closed his eyes and took a breath, sure Edward had returned to his attempt at getting some much deserved sleep. The dip at the edge of the mattress startled him.
Ed’s automail forearm dug into the bedding, and how Ed could lay his head on that, Roy wasn’t sure. If it was uncomfortable, Ed refused to admit it. He only gave Roy a look like he was just daring him to say anything, and closed his eyes, burrowing his face against metal and the mattress.
Roy let out a shuddery sigh, his lips turning down in irritation. He didn’t need someone close, even if he was still too injured to defend himself. There was nothing to be afraid of and he knew it, but he found himself already resting a bit easier with Ed within arm’s reach.
Crisp hospital sheets and a miserably thin mattress beckoned him back towards sleep. Roy felt his good eye drifting shut, and bit by bit he gave in. If he was helped along by steady, rhythmic breathing a few inches from his ear, well… it was only for the way it drowned out the silence. If the way Ed shifted, sleepily draping an arm across his stomach was oddly comforting, it was only because this way his nightmares wouldn’t throw him from the bed.