This was written for timbean in response to naked Roy. It was pretty and inspired what was supposed to be porn and turned out angsty fluff.... I'll have to write porn later.
It could have been fine. Despite what they had done, the government had a habit of overlooking what was convenient for them, and this was nothing if not convenient. Had he put forth the effort, it may well have been marked down an accident, their leader simply caught in friendly fire, and it all could have been okay. Though to the military, Roy was simply a convenient assassin, he had had the best of intentions.
Roy couldn’t be happy with “good intentions”. The road to hell, after all, was paved in them. In the end, he was nothing more than a failure of epic proportions. At the very least, he could protect the people who’d been foolish enough to back him up, couldn’t he?
This was the consequence of the path he’d chosen. This was the result of his transgressions, the limbo that was neither grace and forgiveness, nor nearly enough punishment for his crimes. He was still alive and he had no right to even that. Dissatisfied, but left without option, Roy resigned himself to a frozen outpost where he could do no harm, could offer no resistance to the things that came to pass. One could not fail if they did not try.
It had been enough at first, exiling himself and drowning in snow and alcohol on cold, icy nights, alone in a long forgotten cabin. No one came out this way if they could avoid it, the only visitor as a general rule being the supply wagon that was there and gone as quickly as they could be. It wasn’t as though he blamed them though. He didn’t imagine this place was pleasant for anyone.
As the days passed, his self-imposed exile no longer offered the redemption or punishment that he craved. As reality drifted away, he wondered sometimes if those that had followed him were even real, if maybe he’d imagined the person he’d once been. All that was left was memory, the images he’d been left with as he’d departed. Hawkeye’s disbelief and sorrow, evident as she realized she could no longer be his protector and sister in arms. Fuery’s look of loss as his hero departed. Havoc… shouldn’t Jean have been happy that Roy wasn’t going to be around to steal his dates anymore? He’d only looked pained, as if he wanted to reach out and hold his former commander back. In any case, it was all a façade, the mask he wore to hide a painful truth. Alcohol didn’t dull the pain anymore, the taste only stale in his mouth. He felt so very pitiful and alone as the wind howled outside his cabin, the darkness shrouding a fitful, sleepless form.
Wasn’t time supposed to heal your wounds? It baffled the former alchemist that the days bled into weeks, months, a year, and each morning only hurt worse. Each day was another day Winry had to live without her parents. Each day was a day Al desperately searched for his brother. Each day was a day his crew had to go on without him, never truly understanding his reasons for leaving to begin with. What did they think of his leaving, what would they say if they saw him now?
Roy frowned as he looked in the mirror. His face looked worn and saddened, the confident mask he’d worn all but disappeared in a sea of open regret. As he pulled of his shirt, he could just make out his ribs through the pale skin. Guilt and regret battered his psyche until he was just too tired to go on anymore. He barely managed to pull off the rest of his clothes before dropping onto the bed, not bothering to pull up the blanket to shield from the cold.
He lay there sleeplessly for a long time, exhausted beyond words yet too forlorn to lose himself to slumber. A fire burned in the fireplace, out of necessity rather than desire. The yellow flames licked at the stones that housed them, taunting Roy with one shadowed memory after another. He finally drifted off to nightmares amidst the ashes.
Roy was startled out of sleep by a knock on the door. Sunlight shone rudely through the window, right into his one good eye. The door sounded again, bringing to his notice that for the first time in the year plus that he’d been stationed here, he hadn’t woken at daybreak to begin his duties. Not that it mattered anyway since no one cared and nothing happened, but it had been his way.
Roy grabbed the sheet he’d been laying on, shivering a little as his bare feet hit the icy floor. The fire had died out in the night, blanketing the room in a persistent chill. Ignoring the cold, Mustang headed for the door, wrapped in the bed sheet. He picked his way gingerly across the cold wooden slats and opened the door, using it to shield his still naked body.
“Havoc?” Roy frowned in confusion.
“Last I checked,” Roy’s former subordinate.
“Why are you here?” Roy opened the door to let Havoc inside, belatedly realizing that, while it got Jean in and out of the worst of the cold, he was still naked beneath that sheet.
“Just came out to check on my commanding officer. You never keep in touch,” Jean raised an eyebrow at Roy’s lack of dress, but seemed to ignore it other than that.
“I’m not your commanding officer,” Roy retorted.
“That’s because you ditched on us,” it was a rare moment of absolute honesty, the kind that took a look at Roy’s soul, bared its teeth hungrily, and chomped, leaving him feeling a little less whole.
“I’m just fulfilling my responsibilities,” he responded, and the words sounded empty and lame to his own ears.
“You never struck me as the type of person who would hole himself up out in the middle of nowhere,” Jean continued, turning his back to allow Roy to dress in relative privacy.
“Did you ever really know me?”
“I thought I did.”
An uncomfortable silence drifted between them, broken only by the soft rustle of clothing as Roy pulled on his uniform, dropping the sheet back onto the bed. With a resigned sigh, he plopped down in a chair across from Havoc, waiting for his former subordinate to turn back around.
“Come back to Central with me,” Havoc asked, doing his best to hide… some emotion Roy couldn’t quite decipher from his voice.
“This is where I’m stationed,” Roy answered, matter of factly.
“You’re stationed here because you allow it. You could go back any time and you know it,” Roy wanted to smile, but it hurt too much. Time seemed to have made Jean a bit bolder, less intimidated by the alchemist. He was glad for it, deep down.
“I’m not going back.”
I can’t go back.
The two of them talked for a long while, catching up on old times. Roy hid the pain he felt in Jean’s presence, doing his best to look something other than miserable. Havoc didn’t ask for a light when he smoked, noting Roy’s lack of gloves with a sensitivity he’d never expressed way back when.
The sun had disappeared behind trees and snow by the time Havoc rose to leave. He shook his head. Had he really been here all day? It wasn’t that it bothered him. Far from it, even. He was glad to know that Roy hadn’t run off and killed himself or something equally dumb. It was just surprising that they hadn’t run out of things to say. Roy had listened to stories of his failed conquests, offering a small jibe about Havoc’s luck with women obviously having NOTHING to do with him now, before a tired sadness had once more settled over his features.
“Come back with me,” Jean offered again, standing at the door, ready to leave.
“See ya, Chief,” and with that, Havoc disappeared into the night, lazy grin etched into Roy’s mind.
It wasn’t that he missed Jean in particular, but his leaving gave Roy a torturous, empty feeling. He had no desire to go back to Central, but it had felt good to have some real human contact again. It was painfully lonely out here, surrounded with only a haunting fire and whiskey that just didn’t cut it anymore.
A rueful smile crossed the former alchemist’s lips. This pain, it was how it should be, some manner of penance for his many failures.
It was two months and eight days later when Havoc next visited Roy.
“Do you really have no better way to spend your time off?” Roy quipped, allowing a tiny smile at Jean as the wind whipped at his face and hair, melted and refrozen snow icing his bangs to his forehead.
“Does the idea of me being here bother you that much?” Havoc retorted, dusting stray snowflakes off his uniform.
“I just can’t imagine wanting to waste time out here when there are so many other things you could be doing,” Roy admitted.
“I can’t imagine voluntarily staying out here either, so I guess we’re even.”
“Let’s go inside. It’s freezing out here,” Roy said, hoping Jean would forget to ask him to come back this time.
Jean didn’t forget, though he took his time getting there. By the time it came up, both were pleasantly drunk, warmed by companionship and whiskey.
“You should come back. We all miss you…” there was a pause, “You know that right?”
“I…this is where I have to be,” Roy responded, though he didn’t seem quite as resolved in that with his eyes glassed over, a little more dazed with each shot that burned down his throat.
Roy opened his mouth to answer, but then he closed it. Right now he couldn’t think of a single reason.
“When do you have to be back?” Roy asked, changing the subject and breaking the silence that had fallen between them.
“Monday. I was gonna head out tonight, but I wasn’t planning to get drunk.”
“Don’t go out there like that.”
“Yeah, I might get lost and you’d have to go to the trouble of finding me,” Jean grinned, a lax, buzzed, but genuine smile.
Roy nodded. At least he’d have company tonight. For the first time in ages he wouldn’t fall asleep alone.
“You can take the bed,” Mustang offered when Havoc expressed a desire to sleep.
“Don’t be ridiculous. I don’t want to impose anymore than I have to.”
“The floor is too cold to sleep on,” Roy said quietly, more docile now than the man Havoc had followed what seemed another lifetime ago.
“Then you’re not sleeping on it either.”
Roy frowned at that and shrugged a little uncomfortably. He hadn’t even so much as hugged another person since before he’d left Central and here Jean didn’t seem bothered in the least by sleeping in the same bed as him. Necessity… well that and Jean was still buzzed enough to be mostly nerveless.
He wasn’t sure exactly what his opinion was of the matter when they both were settled under the comforter. It was odd, a little disconcerting to be so close, and now that Havoc wasn’t inebriated he seemed a bit disconcerted by the whole thing. Roy couldn’t quite decipher the emotion in his former subordinate’s eyes and quickly gave up, showing his back to the man and resolutely shutting his eyes.
“Night Chief,” Havoc murmured, settling into the mattress, putting the few inches the tiny mattress had to spare between them.
There were no nightmares that night, no haunting memories leering at him from the fireplace. There was just him and a warm companionable friend beside him and sleep was the sweetest it had been in ages.
Roy grumbled at the sun shining in the window and rolled over, trying to escape its rays. He hoped belatedly that he wouldn’t disturb Jean, but he was alone in bed, left with only a note. Havoc had left early, caught the first train back to Central.
It was just as well really. He couldn’t let himself start getting used to having company. It only made the loneliness ache more.
Jean’s visits came more and more frequently, less of a surprise each time. The companionship was familiar, though the dynamic seemed to have subtly changed from the time that Roy had been Havoc’s superior to something on a more equal level. There was an easy friendship worming its way around them once again. The only bitter moments being the ones where the blonde inevitably tried to convince Roy that he belonged back in Central, back in charge, hell, anything but this. The answer was always no, though each time it was a little less certain and every time Havoc left, the little cabin felt a bit more lonely.
“You have time off coming,” Jean pointed out at his most recent visit.
“What’s your point?” Roy raised an eyebrow.
“Come back with me.”
“Come on. Just to visit,” Jean hoped that enough pestering would break Roy’s resolve.
“Everyone misses you. Come on, the secretary pool would go crazy. You can’t say no to that.”
Roy said nothing, barely acknowledging Havoc’s words. He was friendly enough, but there was no ease to him anymore, he rarely smiled, and nothing seemed to bring him joy.
“Roy. Just come back, at least for a couple days?”
“Every time you come here, you always ask me to come back. Every time I tell you no. When are you going to understand that I’m not coming back,” Roy lowered his voice, agitation edging into it.
“Well I never was the brightest of us, was I,” Havoc grinned.
“I can’t go back.”
“Where is he?” Jean leaned forward, staring into Roy’s good eye.
“You and I both know I have no idea where Ed is… What brought that up?”
“I wasn’t talking about Ed,” Havoc responded.
“Who are you talking about then?”
“I knew a man once that I would have followed to the ends of the earth. He was an arrogant asshole, but he watched out for the people that were loyal to him and if you got to know him, you saw that all the rudeness and arrogance was just a show he put on. He had hopes and plans that were worth risking our lives for, and we did. Then he was just gone, vanished into thin air as if he’d never existed. I want to know where he went.” Jean stared at Roy across the table, his eyes insisting on an answer.
“That man is gone now.”
“Liar,” Havoc nearly spat. “I know you better than that. You’re tougher than this.”
“I’m not who I used to be.”
“You could be him again.”
“Why are you doing this?” Roy asked tiredly. He was so very exhausted and Havoc was asking for so much.
“Because you’re still worth following.”
Jean’s loyalty never ceased to astound Roy. Everyone else had given up, allowed him to go on his miserable way, but not Havoc. Here he was, as often as was possible, intruding on Roy’s life and trying to pull him out of the hell he’d made for himself. He supposed all that effort was worth some sort of concession on his part, but he just couldn’t do it.
Despite Roy’s refusal, the rest of the day was amicable and easy. Jean hadn’t really expected Roy to go along with his request anyway. He’d just have to keep trying.
“My train leaves in the morning,” Havoc’s request to stay the night was silent, but crystal clear and Roy nodded, making room for two in his bed. He lay awake a long time, knowing Havoc would be gone in the morning, and for the first time he actively wanted him to stay. Being alone just wasn’t okay anymore, which was, of course, Jean’s fault for coming out here all the time and getting him addicted to the companionship as he was to his cigarettes.
That brought him to his next point of confusion. Why would Jean go to all this trouble? Not even Hawkeye had come out here, and she’d been the one he considered the most loyal of all. No, it was Havoc that came time after time, never just dropping it and leaving him be. Not that the others had abandoned him. They would welcome him back if he’d just go.
Roy bit his lip as he considered the loyalty he’d been awarded, particularly on Havoc’s part. It occurred to him though, that Jean’s behavior was leaning a little less towards the blind loyalty of a subordinate and a little more towards the love of another human being. His good eye widened a little, finally getting what this was all about. He allowed a small smile as he chanced a glance in Jean’s direction, watching him sprawled across his half of the bed. He fell asleep listening to the sounds of the other man’s breathing.
“Well, I’m off here in a few,” Jean announced, shaking Roy lightly.
“What? I don’t want to miss my train.”
Roy said nothing. He’d fallen asleep in his uniform, so he didn’t bother changing, simply throwing what he needed into a bag. Havoc stood in the doorway, dumbfounded as he realized what was happening.
“Just relax. We aren’t going to miss the train,” Roy smirked, a little piece of himself returning. He hoisted the bag onto his shoulder and Jean laughed in relief as the other man followed him out the door.
“So what made you change your mind?” Havoc asked as the train rumbled down the tracks.
“I finally get it.”
“Why you did all this?”
“I don’t get what you’re saying, Chief,” Jean eyed him warily, a blush creeping slowly across his face.
“Roy.” Mustang smiled easily at him.
“You can call me Roy,” he repeated.
“Thank you, Jean,” and before Havoc could respond, Roy had pulled him into a tight hug.
“Ummm. What was that for?” the blonde looked just a little bit bewildered.
“Because if I didn’t do it, you never would.”
“That’s why you’re the boss,” Jean joked, freezing up a little when he realized how near Roy still was.
“Are you okay?” Roy raised an eyebrow, peering into Jean’s eyes with his own.
“Uhhh… yeah. Fine,” he cursed the train’s rule against smoking. At least if he had something in his mouth, maybe he wouldn’t want to kiss Roy so badly.
Jean really didn’t get the time to think about his predicament though, as soft lips pressed against his. Blue eyes widened as he tried to figure out exactly what was going on.
“Chief?” he stammered a little as Roy pulled away.
“That’s why you did all this, isn’t it?”
“Am I wrong?” Roy asked.
“No. I mean yes, that’s why I did it but…” Havoc was blushing furiously now. Roy couldn’t possibly feel the same about him.
“Do you know why I’m here?”
“Because you got sick of freezing your ass off?”
“Because I didn’t want you to leave me behind again,” the utter honesty of Roy’s words took Havoc by surprise.
“I’m just your subordinate.”
“No. You’re more than that, even if you’re too thickheaded to see it,” a whisper of a smile brushed across the older man’s lips as Jean blinked at him.
“It’s good to have you back,” Havoc shivered a little, forcing himself to lean forward and kiss Roy. The action was not spurned and Jean grew a little bolder, threading fingers through ebony hair.
“I was afraid you’d never come back,” he whispered.
“How could I stay away with someone so persistent interrupting my solitude all the damn time?” Roy pressed forward, gently forcing Havoc back against the seat. With all the mushy stuff out of the way, it had been so very long since he’d even hugged another person and he just wanted so badly. The former alchemist couldn’t resist touching every inch skin that was exposed, desperate to find more
“What are you doing?” Havoc stared up at Roy, eyes wide as dinner plates. A slight tremor coursed through him, trembling against the man above him.
“Are you honestly that dense, Jean?” Roy grinned against Havoc’s jaw before moving to nip at his neck, eliciting a gasp from his companion.
“It’s just… you can’t possibly want me,” he might have said more, but his protests were cut off by warm lips and a moist tongue exploring his mouth.
Roy pulled away, leaving Havoc gasping for breath, “Why not?”
“I…you… You could have anyone you want… I mean… nobody wants me,” Jean spluttered.
“Well maybe I do,” Roy shook his head.
“I wouldn’t have gone back to Central for anyone else,” the dark haired man admitted.