Rachel (inugrlrayn) wrote,

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If I Should Die Chapter 15

Title: If I Should Die Chapter 15
Fandom: FMA
Pairing: Roy/Ed
Author: inugrlrayn
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.

Previous parts

The rest of my fics are here.

It was sunset by the time they reached Roy’s house. The brick building looked ancient and eerie in the waning light. Drawn curtains and the unkept lawn did nothing to add to its appeal. It was nothing he’d spent months imagining, and Roy found himself grimacing as he followed Ed up the path, half drowned out by weeds, to the front door.

He was rather glad for Ed’s company right then. Keys had been lost months ago when he’d been certain he wasn’t even going to live, let alone see home again. Ed handed off the bag that held the takeout they’d stopped for, and Roy jumped as he clapped his hands together. He was overwhelmed by light and the smell of ozone that invaded the air as Ed touched the door.

“It’s okay. I was just unlocking the door,” Ed murmured. There was nothing like judgment or derision in his expression as he opened to door to let them inside, for which Roy was more grateful than he could find words for.

“I’m not sure if I should be worried that you’re so adept at that,” Roy replied blandly. Ed gave him a toothy grin before making his way further into the house, almost as if he belonged there.

Roy didn’t bother to stop him. He followed almost serenely as Edward turned on the lights, neglecting to remove his shoes as he tramped into the living room. It might have bothered Roy once, but he couldn’t quite bring himself to mind when somehow Ed’s presence made it feel more like home.

“You don’t have to stay you know.” It wasn’t something he wanted to be saying, but it needed to be there, out in the open. Roy was fairly certain that Ed would stick around until he explicitly gave him permission to leave. As much as he might appreciate the company, Ed had already sacrificed far too much. He simply couldn’t ask any more.
“Yeah…I know.” Ed smiled, a sad sort of smile that Roy couldn’t quite decipher. Roy left him alone in the living room, if only to hide the way he couldn’t stop himself from shrinking away as Ed transmuted the dust off his couch.

The house was exactly as he’d left it, all debris aside. The chairs were all still pushed in at the dining room table where he set down their dinner. He found the dishes still neatly stacked in otherwise empty cabinets. It reminded him of a display in a magazine, pristine and beautiful, and nothing at all like home.

It should have been a sanctuary, but it didn’t feel like one any longer. Ed was cluttered, and Roy had gotten used to books stacked in strange places, and clothes strewn across the floor when he was too ill to complain. Ed had apparently wormed his way into every corner of his life, and Roy didn’t relish trying to reconcile that with living alone again.

A quick glance through the kitchen cabinets found a familiar bottle. Thank… someone that whiskey did not seem terribly inclined to spoil. Roy poured himself a glass and knocked it back with five months worth of severely needing a drink. It burned as it slid down his throat and he welcomed the sensation, idly wondering how many more it would take to forget the world for a while. He might have poured another, just to find out, had he been alone. With a heavy sigh, he put the bottle away instead, and set the glass in the sink.

They ate dinner in comfortable silence, though Ed didn’t seem nearly as thrilled about being home as he’d been back at the hospital. He picked at his food, and Roy watched, trying to sort out if he was genuinely troubled or just wasting time. When Ed finally noticed Roy looking, his lips turned up in a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes.

Perhaps it was a little of both, because Ed seemed rather intent on dawdling in any way he could. He washed the dishes, grumbling at Roy when he tried to help. He straightened up the rest of the house, or at least got rid of the dust, arguing that it was faster if he did it, and would Roy just sit down and relax already?

By the time he ran out of excuses, Roy’s home looked as if he’d never left. He’d need to pick up a few groceries eventually, but the house was warm and comfortable. He staunchly ignored the urge to wall off the empty fireplace, just so he wouldn’t have to look at it anymore.

The clock on the wall chimed ten and finally Ed seemed ready to leave. He looked around one last time and smiled at Roy, that sad, nervous smile again. “You gonna be okay?”

“I’ll be fine,” Roy replied, sincerely hoping he wasn’t lying.

Ed shuffled in the doorway for a moment and finally turned around, heading out the door. Roy watched him go, down the walkway and onto the sidewalk, eventually disappearing down the street. He stood at the window long after Ed was gone, denying the fact that this left him well and truly alone.

Roy turned around to face the empty living room. He’d lived here alone for years, and there was no reason on earth why he shouldn’t be able to go right back to that. Grabbing the first book he laid his hands on from the bookcase, he made his way to the newly clean couch.

It felt so many levels of wrong. Two pages in, he realized that by now he’d normally have a fire roaring in the fireplace. Even the empty, gaping maw that stared out from the living room wall made him shiver, and he turned his head away, trying to focus on the book.

Five pages in, he started wondering why he couldn’t concentrate. He’d read the same sentence half a dozen times and it refused to take hold in his mind enough to move on. Two more tries and he wondered why Ed hadn’t interrupted him yet with inane conversation.

Ten pages and an hour later, the house was still deadly quiet. He thought seriously about calling Ed, but really, what was he meant to say? It would only bring him back, and Ed hadn’t been home in months, so that wasn’t remotely fair.

Another fifteen minutes of struggling to focus and jumping every time the house creaked and settled, and the bottle of whiskey in the kitchen was starting to sound inviting all over again. Roy tried to pretend that he wasn’t really thinking about having a drink, but eventually he conceded. He pulled himself up off the couch and headed for the kitchen. Perhaps one more would be enough to lull him to sleep.

One more drink only convinced him that he really, really couldn’t cope with this. He felt no better, and didn’t even bother arguing with himself as he picked up the book and the bottle and carried them upstairs with him. If he could just fall asleep, things would look better in the morning.

Roy got ready for bed, trying to ignore how big it seemed without someone else sprawled across half of it. He set the whiskey bottle on a bedside table that was entirely too clean, and crawled beneath the cold, crisp sheets. He propped the pillows against the headboard, briefly trying to go back to his book.

The words were a little bit fuzzy, squirming rather unhelpfully under his gaze. Roy scrubbed his hand over his face, blinking in an effort to focus, but it didn’t really help. With nothing to distract him, there was really nothing left but to at least try to sleep.

Roy jerked the bottle off the table, throwing back the last of its contents. The bed was too big, and the room was too empty, and the house was too quiet. He felt more off kilter than he had in months, and the alcohol meant to ease his nerves only made the loss more acute.

With an irritated sigh, Roy flipped off the lights, grateful that at least his body felt heavy enough for sleep. He rolled over onto his side, reaching out of habit for Ed’s side of the bed, only to find empty mattress and pristine sheets. His tongue was thick in his throat and he blinked furiously in the dark as his eyes adjusted, confirming Ed’s absence.

It felt like a lifetime of staring out into a dark, empty bedroom. His thoughts poked at any attempt he made to sleep, alerting him to every sound, reminding him that the phone was just downstairs. He set his jaw, eventually pulling the pillow over his head just to drown out the way he couldn’t hear Ed breathing beside him. It was miserable and cold, but eventually he drifted off to a fitful sleep.

Roy dreamt of fire, dangerous and haunting as it always was. He cowered in fear, but it never relented, rending flesh and searing straight down to the bone. He woke up drowning in blankets that wouldn’t let go, struggling to break free like his life depended on it.

Startled from sleep, and plagued by the beginnings of a nasty hangover, Roy reached out and squirmed closer to Ed’s side of the bed, seeking out the warmth of the younger man’s body. He struggled to level out his breathing, hard, but steady through his nose.

It was a moment before he realized there was no metal arm coiled around him. No one was whispering that it was only a dream, it was over, and he was safe. When he opened his eye, all he could see was the bedside table that ought to have been blocked out by Ed’s body.

Slowly, something like recognition dawned on Roy. He was home, in his own room, in his own bed. Ed was not likely to be barging in any time soon. Roy squeezed his eye shut as tightly as he could, curling in on himself in the middle of the otherwise empty bed. His arms wrapped around the extra pillow and he pulled it against his chest, burying his face against the edge of it. It was going to be a very long night.
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