Word Count: This part 2,570 (4,693 overall)
Prompt: "How fucking romantic" for fma_slashfest
Summary: In which Roy is convinced Ed is trolling him.
Warnings: none really
Notes: Here is part two, as promised. Also, credit where credit is due. A good bit of this is cryogenia's fault XD
The rest of my fics are here.
It might’ve ended there, had Roy been left to his own devices. Roy closed the drawer on what he suspected was the last keepsake he’d have of the time he’d spent getting to know Edward. He settled into his chair to get through some paperwork, and he could almost still feel those sharp, golden eyes on him, beautiful and utterly focused, but there was no one there, and he’d likely never see them in person again. Still, even if it left him feeling a little bit hollow, he wasn’t going to call Ed back. It was a terrible, terrible idea.
The sun was already dipping on the horizon when Roy finally left headquarters. The rest of his team had cleared the office hours before, and Roy decided he was less inclined to go find someone at the motor pool to drive him than he was to walk in the snow. Great coat tugged tightly around his body, Roy headed for home.
For all the cold bit at Roy’s nose and cheeks, it wasn’t a terribly long walk to his home. He cleared the last block in gray, failing light, freezing as he stepped onto the walkway up to the porch. Somewhere inside the house, a light was on. Roy was certain he had turned them all off that morning.
On the alert, Roy crept towards the door, fingers poised to snap. Strangely, the door was still locked when he reached it, and he quietly turned the key, easing the door open with only the faintest creak. Heart hammering in his chest, Roy slipped into the foyer, eyes and ears straining for clues.
There was a noise, shuffling of some sort, further into the house. It sounded like it might be from the kitchen, though he couldn’t imagine what anyone might want in there. They didn’t act like any thief he’d ever known, making no efforts to be quiet as they went about whatever it was they were doing.
It was a good thing Roy looked before he snapped. Cautiously, he peeked around the corner, into the kitchen, to find the intruder was Edward. Edward, who was currently perched on his kitchen counter, pulling plates out of one of the cabinets.
“Fullmetal?” Roy asked suspiciously, fingers still poised to snap. Ed jumped comically, nearly dropping the dishes as he flailed to catch himself.
“The fuck did you sneak up on me for?” Ed demanded, once he’d set himself right again. He glowered at Roy from behind his bangs, an embarrassed flush streaking his cheeks.
“I might point out that you broke into my house,” Roy replied mildly, finally relaxing his hand. “And what are you doing in my kitchen cabinets?”
“I brought dinner,” Ed replied, sounding entirely pleased with himself. Just like that, he was smiling again, easing the plates off the shelf a bit more carefully. “Who the hell puts plates up that high, anyway? That’s just stupid.”
“Probably a person who wasn’t expecting someone of your… stature to be trying to fish them down, and why did dinner involve you breaking in, anyway?” Roy asked, smirking at the way Ed was obviously fighting to ignore the jab at his height.
“It was supposed to be a surprise, you ass,” Ed grumbled. He slipped from the counter, lithe as a cat, and Roy was left to follow with his eyes as the young man pushed right past him into the dining room.
“It would’ve been just as surprising if you’d shown up at my door when I was actually home, like a normal person,” Roy pointed out, following Ed.
“I was getting things ready.” Roy wasn’t entirely certain he wanted to know what Ed was getting ready exactly, not that he had much choice. Roy heard the plates drop with a clank, and when he stepped into the dining room, Ed was already setting about lighting a rather disorganized looking array of candles, scattered across the table top.
“What are you doing?” Roy asked, pointedly ignoring the way Ed all but glowed in the soft, low light.
“What’s it look like, you idiot?” Ed asked, finishing with the last of the candles and gesturing vaguely at a chair.
“It sort of looks like you’re getting ready for a séance,” Roy teased.
“That’s just stupid. Sit down already. I brought food,” Ed groused, waving vaguely at a paper bag sitting at the edge of the table.
Roy peered curiously into it. The bag was so full, he didn’t have to look very far. The logo on the boxes inside was one he knew well enough. Roy couldn’t quite contain his mirth as he asked, “You brought bbq? You certainly have some very… unique ideas about romance.”
“Shut up. It’s the best bbq in the city and I brought it all the way from the west end. Besides, there are candles. What else do you want?” Ed growled, glaring at Roy again as he slid into his seat. “Sheesh, you could at least say thank you or something.”
“This coming from the absolute paragon of good manners,” Roy teased. “Alright, Edward. Thank you for breaking into my house and bringing me bbq. To what do I owe the honor?”
Ed stared at him across the table. Even in the flickering light, the flush across his nose and cheeks was obvious. Just when Roy was beginning to think Ed might not answer at all, the young man jerked his eyes head to the side, overly focused on pulling the boxes out of the bag as he muttered, “It was something you couldn’t ignore.”
“Ignore? When have I ever ignored you?” Roy asked, not remotely sure what Ed was talking about.
“All the time! I kept doing stuff trying to be nice and you kept acting like you didn’t get it,” Ed complained, scowling at Roy as he dished up a plate.
“I didn’t. I thought it was some sort of practical joke,” Roy tried to explain.
“Who the fuck gives people presents as a practical joke?” Ed groused, giving Roy a look as if he’d lost his senses entirely.
“Considering most of those gifts involved being chewed out by my superiors, and one of them very nearly involved a national incident, what exactly did you expect me to think?” Roy countered, immediately regretting it when Ed’s head dipped, shrouding his crestfallen expression behind thick locks of hair.
“I expected you not to be stupid.” Ed eventually looked up again, jaw set like he was talking about some sort of serious mission, not confessing to having a crush. His lips pressed in a determined line, eyes all but boring through Roy. It was disconcerting to be the focus of that, but he waited until Ed added, a bit more softly, “I don’t want to fight with you…”
Like that, he was beautiful, candlelight playing off wide, beseeching eyes, cradling the curve of his jaw in its flicker. Roy swallowed, carefully masking his personal feelings on the issue. “Surely you know it would be a terrible idea.”
“What’s wrong with it? I mean, unless you’re not interested, and then you could just tell me already instead of being a jerk about it,” Ed retorted, as if he’d ever truly given Roy a chance.
“Aside from the fact that you’re my until very recently underage, male subordinate?” It was all he could do to keep his expression neutral. The last thing he needed was Ed to so much as suspect a truth he’d latch onto, only to end up hurt. Roy finally got around to trying what was indeed very good bbq, as much to shield his emotions as because he was actually hungry.
“I’m not your subordinate anymore,” Ed murmured, chomping rather empathically on a pickle.
“But you were, and the rest is still very true.” Roy sighed. He should’ve expected this really, that Ed wouldn’t let this die and set his sights on something a bit more appropriate.
“Fuck that. I didn’t ask what people were gonna gossip about. I asked what you thought,” Ed pressed, leaning forward like he might ignore the table entirely and close the distance between them. Roy envied him his innocence, helplessly watching the way Ed fidgeted, toying with the end of his ponytail as it slipped down his shoulder.
“I think this can’t be an option. It wouldn’t end well, and even if there was a chance it would, the fall out could be disastrous.” It was the sort of stock answer that worked well dealing with the brass, and not at all in dealing with Edward Elric, who was already practically seething.
“Real classy, Mustang. I went out on a limb here, and you won’t even try. Well, just forget it. Forget I said anything.” Ed pushed abruptly back from the table, nearly topping the chair in the process.
Ed would go, crisis averted. He’d probably go home, and Roy would be lucky to ever hear from him again, but their reputations would be intact. Roy knew he should let Ed walk out and be done with it, but his mouth had other ideas, calling out as Ed stalked out of the dining room, “Fullmetal…”
Ed whipped around, and if Roy hadn’t known him so very well, he’d have mistaken those too bright, glaring eyes, and scowling lips for the anger Ed had shoved brutally to the surface. “I’m not your subordinate anymore.”
Roy bit the inside of his lip. He could still let Ed leave. They could still end this before it started. Against his better judgment, he tried again. “Edward, just… wait.”
“I have been waiting. A whole lot of good it did me,” Ed hissed, but his fury seemed to waver, and Roy felt like it would’ve only been more cruel to yank away the brief flicker of hope he seemed to be clinging to.
It was still a terrible idea, and Roy scrubbed a hand over his face, stalling as he tried to talk himself out of it one last time. Finally, he caved, voice soft as he offered, “We will probably kill each other.”
Ed’s smile could’ve done him in for all its brilliance, and Roy only knew he wanted to see more of it. Ed edged forward like he didn’t entirely trust that Roy wouldn’t change his mind, which was just as well. Roy didn’t entirely trust that he wouldn’t change his mind. Heaven knew he should. Still hanging just shy of the doorway, Ed replied, “We might not.”
“It’s going to be messy. If… if this lasts, when it becomes something people find out about, they will likely assume the worst,” Roy pressed, because Ed didn’t think about those things, but he deserved to at least not be blindsided.
Ed shrugged, and Roy found himself unexpectedly relieved. Already, he was working out how he’d spin this when the time came, and Ed was closing the distance, making his way back towards the table. Roy watched him slip back into his seat, looking as pleased as he ever had.
Dinner passed largely without incident. Between the soft light and friendly conversation, Roy could almost believe they weren’t making a mistake at all. Ed ate as if he hadn’t in weeks, unlike any date Roy had ever ended up on. There was a brief moment when Ed grinned at Roy, bbq sauce smudged on his cheek, that Roy seriously questioned his judgment, but it passed quickly enough.
They lingered there at the table until the candles burned low, and the hall clock chimed merrily that Roy ought to have been asleep hours before. Reluctantly, Roy stood up, pushing his chair in. “It’s getting awfully late, and some of us do have to work tomorrow.”
“Yeah I… Al’s probably wondering where I got off to anyway,” Ed replied sheepishly, surveying the damage of candle wax and empty bbq containers strewn across the table. “You want some help with this or something?”
It was alarming, hearing Ed offer to clean up after his own messes, but it was one in the morning, and the candle wax would still be there in the morning. Roy waved him off with a smile. “I’ll take care of it.”
They ended up in the foyer eventually, Ed shifting from foot to foot in front of the door. “So I guess… I guess I’ll see you around.”
Roy took a breath, nervous and he couldn’t quite explain why. It was as if what he meant to say was the point of no return, and finally he just blurted it out, “Why don’t you come over this weekend. I’ll make you dinner.”
“You cook?” Ed asked incredulously. Roy relaxed, because of course that would be the part Ed would latch onto.
“Only one way to find out,” he replied with a grin, pulling open the front door.
There was no protocol for this. Not that he had never bid a date farewell, but they didn’t generally break into his home, and they certainly weren’t generally quite like Ed. Roy settled for what he knew, fingers slipping around the small of Ed’s back as he dipped his head for the sort of sweet, almost chaste good night kiss that often swept his dates off their feet.
Ed was not any of those dates. Ed also did not respond remotely the way Roy expected. His palm splayed across Ed’s back, and the young man sucked in a breath as if he’d never been touched like that in his life. Maybe he hadn’t. That in itself, was hardly a problem, but he also practically lunged at Roy.
Roy managed to keep his feet, if only barely. He tried to guide things, to slow them down, but mostly all he managed to do was keep from being smothered. Ed’s nose bumped harshly into his, and their teeth struck awkwardly, and Roy couldn’t help but close his eyes and laugh. When he opened them again, Ed was staring at him in something like horror, or irritation. It was hard to tell in the moonlight.
“Here,” Roy murmured softly, urging Ed to stay put with a hand still on his back, the other gently cradling the young man’s jaw. Roy’s lips pressed over Ed’s, slow and languid, like they had all the time in the world. Ed’s stuttered gasp bled out between them, and Roy kissed him again, tongue flicking just barely against Ed’s mouth.
When he finally pulled away, Ed tried to follow him, lips parted in invitation. It was a rather tempting one too, and Roy had to force himself to let go, because Ed deserved more than where that would inevitably lead. He took a step back, knuckles brushing Ed’s cheek as he did. “Goodnight Edward.”
“See you this weekend then?” Ed asked, like he didn’t quite believe it. He was still staring at Roy’s lips, but he’d righted himself, no longer straining to get closer.
“It’s a date,” Roy confirmed, something in his chest melting just a little at the way Ed positively beamed at that. He watched Ed practically floating out the door and towards the sidewalk, grinning back towards the porch now and again.
It was still a horrible idea, but for the moment Roy managed to ignore all the reasons why. For the moments like those, it was worth all the headaches in the world, and who knew. Maybe they could make it work. Maybe it would be beautiful.