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. Thanks, per usual to elfen and cryogenia for read overs and edits and the like.
Disclaimer: I don't own Fullmetal Alchemist or any of its characters.
The rest of my fics are here.
Roy woke to the soft, even sound of Ed’s breathing beside him. Apparently slumber had eliminated any recognition of boundaries or space because Ed’s nose was pressed against Roy’s cheek, lips to his jaw. Warm, even puffs of air washed over his skin as Ed nuzzled against Roy in his sleep. His automail had wormed it’s way beneath the pillows and around Roy’s shoulder, and the fingers of Ed’s other hand were still tangled in Roy’s hair from the night before, resting gently against his scalp.
He was warm and still tired and very much in favor of simply going back to sleep. He squirmed under the covers in an attempt to get more comfortable. He was almost sorry when golden eyes snapped open and Ed pulled his head away from Roy’s.
“You’re still here,” Roy murmured sleepily, hoping the lazy, half smile that curled across his lips would be enough to stall Ed for a moment.
“Yeah,” Ed replied, his voice thick with sleep or embarrassment as he began to disentangle himself from Roy. “Sorry about that.”
“No, it’s fine.” He was almost, almost sleepy enough to ask Ed to stay put a little longer, if his pride would have let him. He did mutter a soft thank you, almost lost in the scant space between them. Ed waved it off with a vague gesture.
“Sure, whatever. What’re friends for?” Ed was no longer curled around Roy, but he remained under the covers, as close as he could manage without touching.
“We’re friends?” He felt sorry almost immediately for asking, but something internal couldn’t help but balk at giving what was between them that title. He couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was that bothered him about it, save for the sense that he was missing something entirely. If Ed was even slightly perturbed, he didn’t show it.
“Well fuck, I hope we’re friends, or me sleeping in your bed is kinda weird,” Ed pointed out, an embarrassed smile etched across his features. Roy only raised an eyebrow at him.
“Okay, it’s kinda weird anyway, but whatever. Just let’s don’t make a habit of it.”
It was the last time Roy remembered feeling remotely good for a while. The burns across his chest ran too deep to heal on their own, and the surgeries required hurt almost worse than the injuries themselves. They kept him sedated for a long while after the first one.
They couldn’t keep him sleeping forever. The first thing Roy sensed when he awoke was a stabbing pain through his chest. It roiled in his belly, threatening to give up anything he might have eaten recently. The agony tore what he expected to be an anguished scream from his lips, but it caught and rasped in his throat, bubbling forth as a weak, pitiful whimper.
Roy clenched his jaw against the sensation. His first inclination was to look for Ed, but even turning his head a bit pulled viciously at newly grafted skin. He sucked in a harsh breath, squeezing his eye shut in misery.
“Hey, you’re awake. How’re you holding up?” Roy opened cautiously opened his eye to find Ed peering down at him, concern tugging at the corners of his mouth. Apparently, ‘let’s not make a habit of this’ had somehow translated into keeping vigil at Roy’s side, reading in Roy’s bed with his back against the headboard.
“Hurts,” Roy slurred, pain and weariness pulling more honesty from him than he’d really intended.
“I’ll bet,” Ed murmured sympathetically. “Anything I can do?”
“Water?” Roy asked hopefully. His throat felt like sandpaper, parched and rough.
Ed shook his head. “Sorry, the doctor said no. I dunno, he was worried it would make you sick or something.”
Roy tried to glare, but judging by Ed’s reaction, the gesture was fairly ineffective. Ed was rarely one to follow the rules, and he wasn’t sure if he ought to be more flattered or frustrated that the young man was so determined to take care of him.
“Stay here. I’ll be right back.” Ed slipped off the bed, and Roy might have laughed at the insinuation that he was even capable of moving if he hadn’t been so truly miserable. Ed’s automail clunked against the wood floor, though Roy wasn’t alarmed until he heard the click of the front door and realized he was alone.
It was okay. He was going to be logical about this. Yes, he was stuck here, unable to even turn his head, but he was in a hospital. Even without Ed’s steadying presence, he was safe. Somehow, it offered no comfort when the clock on the wall was ticking insistently over the eerie silence Ed’s absence produced.
The door creaked open, and it took everything he had not to panic. It was unsetting to be stuck here, unable to see even the bedroom door, let alone the one out in the living room. Anyone could have been coming in and Roy breathed a relieved sigh when Ed’s mismatched steps gave him away. Ed sat heavily on the mattress beside him, scooting close enough that Roy could sort of see him without having to turn his head. Roy could just barely make out a cup of something in Ed’s hand at the edge of his line of vision.
“What’re you doing?” Roy whispered as Ed settled on the bed at his side.
“The doctor said ice was okay,” Ed offered by way of reply.
He looked for a moment like he was just going to hand Roy the cup, and seemed a bit uneasy when he realized that wasn’t an option. He finally plucked what turned out to be an ice chip from the cup, and hesitated before finally holding it to Roy’s lips. It was cold and wet and should have been humiliating, but Roy was too miserable to mind.
Ed kindly didn’t comment on the situation. He waited patiently as Roy crunched bits of ice between his teeth, and still cool water trickled down his throat. Metal fingers soothingly pushed his bangs back as Ed offered him another chunk of ice.
It was only when his throat was no longer uncomfortably parched that Roy began to recognize what was going on. Unthinkingly, he lifted a hand to rub over his face. The gesture pulled remorselessly at his most recent injuries and Roy sucked in a sharp, pained gasp through his teeth.
“Hey, don’t do that. What do you need?” Ed caught Roy’s hand in his. His palm pressed warmly against Roy’s knuckles. His fingers threaded between paler ones as he guided Roy’s hand to rest across Roy’s uninjured waist.
“I can take care of myself,” Roy protested, though there was no bite in them. Ed’s hand rested over his a few seconds longer than was strictly necessary, but he didn’t bother trying to shake it off.
“Uh huh,” Ed murmured. He gingerly brushed a hand across Roy’s forehead. When Roy didn’t bother protesting, it became fingers coming through Roy’s hair, rubbing circles across his scalp.
“Sorry,” Ed mumbled, drawing his automail away from Roy’s hair. “That’s probably not very comfortable.”
Roy was too exhausted and felt entirely too wretched to even notice the way the corners of his mouth pulled down at the loss of contact. There was some sort of disconnect because he heard the words, but hardly registered that he was the one saying them. “No, it was fine.”
Ed’s lips quirked in a smile that almost passed as fond. His palm slipped carefully over Roy’s hair. “You should probably get some rest.”
“All I’ve been doing is sleeping. Exactly how much rest do you think I need?” Roy grumbled. He had let his eye slip shut under Ed’s attention, and it was remarkably difficult to pry it open to glare at his companion.
“You say that like I don’t know exactly what you’ve been through,” Ed murmured. His eyes were wide and alert, obviously not tired, but he pulled away just enough to wriggle under the blankets beside Roy.
“I’m fine,” Roy protested. He was weary to the bone, but he didn’t want to be sleeping.
Ed seemed to be hearing none of it. He curled around Roy, careful to avoid the fresh bandages across the upper part of his chest. His human hand had curled around the side of Roy’s and his thumb rubbed soothingly over Roy’s knuckles. His breath was soft against Roy’s neck and shoulder as he whispered, “I’m sure you are, but just trust me on this, okay? Please?”
Roy hmmed in response. Ed’s body was warm against his, and he couldn’t quite find the strength to argue anymore. He might have squirmed closer if he wasn’t terrified of moving, and he settled for the comfort of Ed’s arm slung carefully across his hips.
It was ridiculously easy to fall asleep like this, and Roy wondered offhandedly how exactly he planned to manage when he was well enough to leave. There would be no easy excuses once they went back. It was pointless to worry though, and he felt himself drifting back towards slumber.
He was almost asleep, too much so to do much in the way of response. Ed’s grip tightened abruptly, shaking against his waist. Ed pressed his face close enough that his nose pressed against Roy’s hair. His voice was scarcely more than a shuddering whisper, and might have been lost had it not been murmured against the shell of Roy’s ear. “I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry I didn’t get there sooner.”