Prompt: 100moods 12 Broken
Author's Note: Very short, very angsty. That's about it.
Some days it isn’t so bad. There are times when he gets through the day only looking once or twice at the picture on his desk. He goes home, has a glass of whiskey with a few ice cubes, and settles in for the night, steeled against the ache of lost time.
Some days are worse, every word reminding him of shadows and ghosts, failures only he seems to hold himself accountable for. These are the days the hours drag by and he spends as much time wiping the corners of his eyes when no one is looking as he does signing paperwork. Success feels hollow on days like this, and a county under his thumb is no substitute for what’s been lost. Even though it’s a different office, the couch is the same, and he forces himself not to look, not to wish that it was inhabited by blond hair and tequila eyes.
These are the days his home is a tomb of memories, shadows and hallways with doors that open into painful nothings. These are the days he walks in the door, helpless to stop himself from glancing at the floor, aching to see a scrap of red fabric that never seemed to quite make it onto the coat rack. He’d always pick it up himself, standing only to find expectant fingers brushing up his arm, pulling him down for a chaste kiss of hello. There are no touches now, no kisses, no smiles on days like this.
These are the days where he walks into the living room and shuts his eyes, and a specter greets him, all sunshine and mischief. He wants to smile at the way hands reach lazily toward him from the couch, beckoning him closer. Memories are cruel, and those hands linger until he’s finally drawn closer, finally seeing them for the nothing they are.
These are the days he wants to run. With a heavy sigh, he makes his way to the kitchen for a much needed drink. He blinks and there is morning sunshine through the curtains over the sink. Ed’s laughing at him, and he knows it’s because of the expression on his face. Why shouldn’t he be surprised that the young man who thinks of nothing but alchemy and his brother can cook? Then again, Ed’s murmuring playfully against his ear that it’s really, “just like alchemy” and of course he’s good at it. He tilts his head towards Ed’s lips, but the sunlight is gone, and the smell of bacon and eggs has vanished. There’s no coffee on the table, and Ed has disappeared.
These are the days he wants to scream. He stumbles brokenly down the hallway, assaulted by forgotten moans, whispers of fingers on flesh, nearly tripping over shed clothing that’s not really there.
These are the days he cries. He’s sitting on the edge of the bed, wishing he could still believe in the arms that rest on his shoulders. His thumbs rub over the oil stains left on the pillows from days when that side of the bed was inhabited by automail and gold and the smell of wind and grass.
These are the nights that sleep is fitful and pained, his hands wrapped around a hair tie and a glove, all that remains of happier times. He’s almost asleep, and he can nearly smile at the way an arm wraps around his belly, warm breath puffing against his ear, ruffling his hair. He can almost trust the words that say he’ll come home one day. He’s almost surprised when he rolls over to kiss empty air, but Ed is gone, and only his ghosts remain.