Prompt: 100moods #48 Guilty
Summary: I was taking prompts the other day, and this is what I wrote for eve_n_furter. It's meant to be sort of a darker take on the hurt/comfort theme. Warning for character death (not Roy or Ed).
Disclaimer: This is me, not owning FMA or the characters etc.
The rest of my fics are here.
It had been an awful thing, as funerals are wont to be. Bad enough to watch a soldier die with no war to merit the sacrifice, but Ed knew that look. It was the one that searched for an explanation where there was none, groped for a reason to make the loss remotely worth it.
It had been her choice to follow wherever Mustang’s ambition led. Even Ed didn’t dare look for equivalence in her life for his. He watched from a distance, eyes glued to a lone figure frozen beside her grave.
Roy’s team didn’t seem to know how to reach him. He had been untouchable and sorrow was a chasm they could not breach. Ed, unwilling to leave the man who held the whole of Amestris in his hands wallowing in a cemetery, did the only thing he could.
“It won’t bring her back,” Ed murmured softly. If not for the way Mustang flinched, he might not have heard at all. Roy never so much as looked up.
Ed didn’t push, standing quietly at Roy’s back. They had become friends of a sort somewhere along the way, but it was a tenuous, fragile balance. Eventually, Roy allowed himself to be coaxed away, with hardly more than a hollow glance at Edward.
Home and a stiff drink had seemed the best course of action. He made no foolish promises that the world would be better in the morning. Idealistic lies only comforted the naïve, anyway. Ed did, however, obstinately refuse to get up from the couch until Roy gave up trying to send him away.
He’d thought it would be enough. That it was not was somewhat a matter of selfishness on his part. One drink too many and pale, nimble fingers curled in his shirt, begging him to stay.
It meant nothing beyond a sad admission that Roy wasn’t up to being alone, but it cracked Ed’s resolve. He could not, could not stomach pitying Roy, and so he parsed as anything but an innocent gesture. Perhaps in reality, all Roy wanted was not to be alone. Ed pretended it was a different sort of need, something that didn’t admit to weakness or mar his image of who Roy was.
Roy’s lips gave without argument, and Ed sank in relief. It meant nothing either, just an awkward extension of an otherwise platonic companionship. Ed was not repulsed, but neither did he want. He kissed Roy anyway, clinging to anything that would fuel his illusion that Roy was not just shattered.
He stayed that night. If he just told himself enough, he could almost believe Roy wanted him here specifically. He closed his eyes, human fingers sliding over the crisp cotton of Roy’s shirt as he slept against Ed’s shoulder.
It was for the best, wasn’t it? Unwilling to believe Roy was anything like broken, he pretended it was loneliness, that it was something he could deal with and fix. He curled around his friend, and if he just tried hard enough, maybe he could make Roy want this. Maybe he could make himself want it, too.
It was a long time before Ed stopped catching Roy looking for a familiar figure at his side. Still, he seemed calmer, perhaps a little less pained. He seemed to trade one need for another, accepting whatever Ed offered with an expression Ed could never quite decipher.
Ed tried not to think too much on it. After all, this was just for a little while, until Roy didn’t need someone to lean on. Eventually, Roy would be fine, and he would slip back to where things were before. He ignored the contradiction inherent in trying to believe Roy wanted him and entertaining the idea that in time he’d somehow want him less. He’d cross that bridge eventually.
At first, for all the nonsensicalness of his reasoning, it seemed to work. Roy didn’t look at Ed like a person in love so much as someone clinging to whatever they could reasonably count on. Ed worked on automatic, pretending he didn’t feel awful for leading Roy on even as he plucked buttons free and bared the skin beneath. If Roy had any idea, he latched onto it anyway, as if a sated body and a blank mind were the only solace he could hope for.
The days stretched into weeks, and something of a habit fell out between them. Ed stayed and Roy let him until sometimes Ed felt more at home reading in Roy’s study than he did in his own apartment. He liked hanging around, enjoyed the companionship of having a friend who understood him. If sometimes that resulted in more than he wanted from Roy, he could pretend it didn’t make his stomach turn.
Something in Ed’s chest shuddered when he came to the realization that it wasn’t about pretending Roy didn’t hurt anymore. He was shielding an entirely different lie. He held his tongue when Roy curled around him, forcing himself not to flinch at soft, affectionate words whispered against ear.
He should say something, but he couldn’t look at Roy and speak the words. He could take the pain. It was a constant friend, and it might have been worth it for the relief of relieving himself of the lie he lived. It was hurting Roy, when he’d only ever wanted to help, that he couldn’t stomach. He was not in love, but he loved Roy all the same in his own, perverse sort of way.
Roy’s lips parted on a low moan, his back arching off the bed. Peripherally, it felt good even, Roy’s body rubbing against his, fingers curled brutally around Ed’s hips. Ed dipped his head to offer up a bruising kiss, but every sweep of his tongue was a lie, every brush of his palm only holding off the inevitable.
I wish I knew how to love you the way I should. I’ve tried everything, but I will never daydream about touching you. I will never be able to look at you and see anything but a good friend. They were words he daydreamed often, a moment in time where the truth spilled out. He wished Roy would scream at him, lash out, offer anything remotely as awful as what he deserved, but the Roy in his daydreams was crueler still. He only looked at Ed with a sad, stricken smile and eyes full of rain.
He’d thought himself doing something noble, offering support under a guise they could both stomach. They fought and they played, exactly like the friends Ed took them to be, but the current changed, and Ed succumbed to the gnawing guilt that he was stealing something he had no right to or real appreciation for. He had robbed Roy of the chance to move on without ever meaning to. Each day he spent in Roy’s arms, in his bed… Every look Roy gave him, soft and hopelessly fond… they pricked at his conscience, fault lines that crawled their way through the center of his heart, lying in wait to shake him to his knees.
“Edward?” There were hands in his hair, and Roy’s lips against his jaw, like he was somehow deserving of comfort. He thought to give up and tell the truth, but Roy held him close, like something precious, silencing the words on his lips.
“I’m fine.” Ed smiled like this throat wasn’t full of ashes. He feigned an interest in the faint scrape of teeth against his pulse, wishing that for once, Roy wouldn’t buy it. There was no such respite, and Ed’s voice caught as fingers slid beneath his shirt.
His body betrayed him, oblivious to the way he was tortured by this. Roy’s hand curling teasingly around his cock was still a hand on him, and the contact was pleasant no matter who it was. Ed closed his eyes and pretended the whole thing didn’t sit like rot in his belly.
He went through the motions, not knowing how to stop what he’d begun. Roy’s thighs parted in invitation, but even as Ed’s hands followed, his mind lingered elsewhere. He wished he could drawn out the sharp catch of Roy’s breath at the intrusion of slick fingers, that he could be blind to the adoring, awed look he was given for his trouble.
There was the faintest edge of a smile as Roy tugged Ed closer, urging him to pick up the pace. These were the times Ed hated the most, the ones where there was no denying that he was wanted, almost unreasonably so. Roy whispered something wicked, but the tone of his voice was laced with an affection that rattled the hollows of Ed’s soul.
Ed braced himself, cursing his heart in its self made agony. He wished Roy would turn around and let him pretend he was lying to someone else, someone he didn’t care so much for. It was worse that Roy had no idea he was being cruel, watching Ed through half lidded eyes.
Roy’s body pulled him in like he belonged there, the warmth and pressure dragging a low, strangled hiss through his teeth. It was exquisite, but the pleasurable pressure around his length was brutal on his soul, crushing until he longed to sob out the truth. Roy let out a low, choked moan, muffling it with teeth against the junction of Ed’s throat and shoulder. He soothed the pain with soft swipes of lips and tongue, and Ed swore he was going to scream.
He balanced over Roy, fingers curled violently in the broad expanse of bedding to maintain the space between them. Oblivious to his torment, Roy hummed in pleasure, arching into the forward press of Ed’s hips. Unable to watch, because somehow watching Roy let him do this, watching Roy’s eyes go unfocused with pleasure while Ed’s stomach turned furiously was far, far more vile than the act itself.
They moved together with a cohesion he had no right to. Each time Roy met the thrust of his hips, Ed felt a little more bruised, his soul corroding with each passing moment. Roy’s fingers would leave bruises across his hips later, but Ed only cared for the way they burned now, searing his flesh with their wanton desire.
“Edward…” his name was an urgent, needy litany of Roy’s tongue, whispered against the smooth skin of his jaw. Ed grimaced, safe in the knowledge that Roy would almost certainly mistake the expression for something else entirely. He could feel the tension crawl along Roy’s nerves already, like fingers pressing down on a spring.
And then it snapped, everything he’d held onto spiraling beyond his reach. He didn’t remember ever touching Roy, but his fingers were wrapped around the other man’s length, pumping steadily. Roy’s body tightened, viselike around him until Ed was whimpering in ill gotten pleasure. Roy came, wet and sticky over his human fingers, and if Ed could have gathered a shred of self control, he’d have stopped there.
It felt like it was venom he was leaving behind as his hips jerked forward one last time within Roy’s body. Roy clutched at him, hazy and sated, and Ed wondered darkly if he’d begin too, decaying from the inside out until all that was left was a vile shell. The lazy, sated curl of Roy’s lips only felt like a slap in the face, an offhanded reminder of how little Roy deserved his sins.
Ed struggled to catch his breath, jerking free as if he’d been burned. Roy made a low, almost distressed sound at the sudden movement, flinching as Ed yanked his hips back. He hadn’t the heart to abandon Roy now, and he settled on the bed, doing nothing to urge Roy closer or drive him away.
There were no words between them, but Ed didn’t need words to feel his guts twist within the confines of his body. Roy had only to curl up beside him, nose pressed to his collarbone like he was the safest thing in the world. He’d meant to say it this time, but the truth was caustic in his throat. Unable to reel the words back in, he yielded once more, folding his arms around Roy.
It couldn’t last. He couldn’t keep lying when Roy deserved better, deserved to be loved with all the heart he offered Ed, who could no more take it than he could stop breathing. He couldn’t keep reaching out, feigning affection as his palm traced the knobs of Roy’s spine, trembling with each quiver of Roy’s back as he fought to regain his breath. A prisoner of his own devices, Ed closed his eyes. Perhaps he would tell the truth tomorrow.