Disclaimer: Unless wishful thinking counts, I don't own FMA.
Author's Note: I blame hikaru_9 for this. Her plot and betaing and much cajoling. ILU!
Warnings: Yaoi and something like child molestation kind of... dubious consent. General WTFery
It couldn’t have come at a better time. He needed to get away for a while. He needed to get away weeks ago, but how would he have explained it? It had been okay when he wasn’t married, when he didn’t have a little girl he’d kill to protect. It had been okay when it was just a dark secret that slept in the back of his mind. It wasn’t okay now, though. It couldn’t be okay when the need for something young and innocent and untouched ate at his insides. It most certainly was not okay when every time Elysia said his name, it twisted the desire a little deeper, and made it a little more painful.
Distance was what he needed, distance and time to clear his head. He would go out for a much needed drink with Roy while he was there and forget all this. Maybe, by the time he came home, things would be better, at least for a while.
There was something even more sickening about the first solution he considered than there was about the original problem. No hooker was going to look young enough to sate this demon, and if they did, they had no business in that line of work. Just because he had a problem didn’t mean it was okay to indulge it at the expense of someone innocent.
Two days away from home, and it wasn’t as sharp, had stopped clawing at his brain most of the time. Without the constant sound of a young, innocent voice calling out to him, he could almost forget why he’d been so desperate to get away. It was only at night, on the small, uncomfortable bed, in the sparse, nondescript dorm room he was in, that it came back full force, edging even into his dreams as he ached for undisturbed sleep.
It was a week later when the idea struck him, and he pushed it away viciously. He was there when Ed returned to Eastern Headquarters, strolling into Roy’s office like he owned the place. Despite his gait, there was a weary, impossibly young look to him, like he’d been kept up past his bed time too many nights lately. He shook the thought away, even as Ed shook his messy, tousled ponytail. If he hadn’t looked so tired, one might have thought he’d just spent the day out playing with other kids his age. He’d watched Ed play with other kids, in fact, though he hadn’t thought anything of it at the time. Ed was a strange creature, a boy or a man depending on who you asked and the circumstances he was in.
Ed had been through so much, already. He had been touched by one sin after another, and what right did anyone have to add to it? Still, it seemed he did fall between the cracks, in a way. Even he himself would insist that he was an adult, would argue to be treated as one. The military certainly saw him as one, and if he was old enough to fight and die for his country, surely he was old enough for this.
The second time he came across Ed, it was harder to ignore the thought that poked at the back of his mind. Ed had taken over the library, terrorizing the librarians with a very typical teenage immaturity that did not belong in a military facility. By the time Maes came across him, though, he’d dozed off on the floor, leaning against a wall, nearly buried in books.
It was hard to look away from the innocent face tilted up at the ceiling. Long, dark lashes that shouldn’t have belonged to any boy brushed soft cheekbones, for once not hidden by bangs. He turned, then. He had to leave now, before he did something rash, before he committed some unforgiveable crime. In the end, though, it was Ed himself who sealed the deal.
“Hello Edward.” If any of what he was thinking showed on his face, Ed was painfully oblivious. He hardly even looked up as he pulled himself from his book pile, dusting off a pair of leather pants that no child belonged in.
“What time is it?” Ed shook the sleep from his head, scattering blond tendrils of hair about his face.
“Quarter ‘til eight.”
“Oh, I guess I should get going, then, before one of the librarians chases me out with a stick,” Ed murmured, somewhat of a childish smile upon his face.
“Oh, I don’t know. He said something about wanting some time to himself. He’s probably back at the dorms, or out for a walk or something.” Ed shrugged a little too easily.
“Did you two get into a fight?”
“Not exactly,” Ed replied, walking beside Maes as they left the library.
“Exactly what, then?” He tried not to notice the way they were heading the same direction. He was not going to do this, not to Ed.
“He just thinks I work too hard, need to relax or something, I guess.” Ed stretched as they walked, fingers linked above his head, which was tilted to the heavens, revealing a slender throat normally hidden under clothing. Maes walked a little faster. They had to get back. He had to get Ed safely to his own dorm room now, while he could still think straight.
“Geez, would you slow down?” Ed muttered, the pace too much of a stretch for him to keep up without jogging. Maes shook his head. It only served to remind him of Ed’s youth.
“Sorry,” he replied a little too brightly, but like everything else, Ed seemed entirely oblivious to the danger.
They reached the dorm, and he sighed in relief. Ed’s room was on the way to his. The boy would stop there, and go spend the evening safe with his brother.
“Well, I guess this is it,” Hughes waved, waiting as Ed knocked on his dorm room door.
“I forgot my key,” he explained sheepishly.
A few minutes of silence fell between them, neither moving because Ed was waiting to be let in, and it would have been rude to just leave him in the hallway, after all.
“Well, damn… I guess Al isn’t back yet.” Ed sighed heavily, turning to regard Hughes.
“Couldn’t you just alchemize the door open?”
“Yeah… I could,” Ed admitted, and it was hard not to understand the distress on his features. They had such a heavy burden, Ed especially, and it was hard not to wallow in it when you were alone. Surely, he couldn’t just leave Ed to suffer like that… He could contain his flagging control for just a little while longer, for Ed’s sake.
“He can’t stay out all night, right? You can come hang out with me for a while, and then you can come back when Al gets back,” Hughes offered with a feigned brightness to gloss the sick roiling in his stomach.
“Yeah, sure. Thanks Hughes. Just… just don’t bombard me with pictures, okay?” Ed was laughing, young and raucous, and Maes swallowed the venomous feeling in the pit of his stomach.
The walk up the stairs to Hughes' room was silent, save for two pairs of footsteps. The echoes in the stairwell were like gongs announcing an inevitable doom.
"Hey Hughes?" Ed murmured as they reached the top of the stairs.
"Thanks. I... I appreciate this, really."
“It’s fine Ed. You’re practically family.”
He opened the door to his dorm room. Al really needed to get back soon.
Ed made his way to the first piece of furniture he came across. He flopped back on the bed as if it were his own, toeing off his boots and relaxing into the battered mattress.
“By all means, make yourself at home,” Maes joked.
“God, now you’re starting to sound like Mustang…fucking Colonel,” Ed muttered.
“Now, Ed. He’s not that bad.” They could talk about Roy. Roy was a safe subject.
“Really, actually, he is. ‘Oh, Fullmetal, I have this stupid errand that really any idiot could do, but since it’s totally out of your way and pointless, I think I’ll have you do it,’” Ed mimicked.
“Honestly, the last mission he sent me on, he claimed was this big lead that was ‘right up my alley’. You know where he sent me? A fucking dairy farm. It’s fucking disgusting. What the hell am I gonna do with a bunch of cows?”
Hughes was chuckling in spite of himself, almost forgetting to be sick to his stomach in the midst of Ed’s tirade.
“It’s not funny! He demanded I bring back a ‘sample’. The bastard tried to talk me into drinking it. What the hell kind of sadist is he? How can you stand him, anyway?”
Maes really was laughing then, in part because Ed was flailing about as he told his cow story. Mostly, it was the thought of the inevitable temper tantrum the milk incident had produced. He was almost sorry he hadn’t been there to see it.
“I’m so glad that Mustang traumatizing me is so entertaining to you,” Ed growled.
He was still laughing.
“Oh that’s it! Stop laughing! It isn’t that funny,” Ed hollered, lunging forward, fully intent on introducing Hughes to his automail.
“I’m sorry!” Maes stammered between bouts of laughter, which seemed to mollify Ed just enough that he wasn’t striking out with his fist anymore. He flopped backwards instead, settling into the mattress, looking mildly amused despite his irritation.
Eventually, their laughter died away into a companionable silence. Maes wished it could have stayed that way. If only the lack of conversation did not lead his mind down treacherous roads.
In the end, it was Ed who shattered the quiet, his words nearly a whisper.
“What, Edward?” His stomach twisted before Ed had even answered. He knew that tone, and it never meant anything good.
“Uh…never mind,” Ed murmured, head turned to look out the window. His eyes were glued very pointedly to the dark etching its way across the sky, as if he couldn’t face another pair of eyes right now. Maes knew the feeling.
“Ed, you know you can always talk to me,” Maes prodded. His words were met with nothing, Ed’s eyes still glued to something far away.
“I think there’s something wrong with me,” he whispered, just when Hughes thought he wasn’t going to get any answer at all.
“Wrong how? Are you hurt?” Maes’ own problems were temporarily overridden by concern for Ed. He truly did care, after all.
“It’s not…like that exactly,” Ed stammered, dragging in a deep, shivery breath. “It’s… it that…”
He didn’t finish, his lips clamping shut, a blush rushing across his cheeks. He looked so impossibly young at that moment, Hughes had to force himself not to look away.
“I just keep thinking about… I… I mean, Al is always right there and there has to be something wrong with thinking about that when you’re sitting on a train with your little brother…”
“Thinking about?” Oh god, he was fairly certain he knew what was coming, and did not want Ed to finish the thought.
“You… you know…” Ed looked utterly miserable, eyes cast away even as he sat up on the mattress.
“Well, I’m not sure what you want me to tell you, except… at your age that’s perfectly normal.” He attempted to be reassuring. Maybe that would steer the conversation into safer territories.
“I just want to know how to make it stop. I don’t have time for… distractions,” Ed muttered.
“Well… usually, the best way to make something like that go away is to find an outlet,” Hughes suggested, unsure himself whether he was providing an honest answer, or an opportunity. He did shut his eyes then, desperately fighting against the urge to lead Ed onward. It would be so very easy, after all.
It was just his luck that despite his shaky determination not to bait Edward, the boy was falling into this like a well laid trap.
“You know, like…” He didn’t have to finish because he could see the realization on Ed’s features.
“I…tried that,” Ed admitted, his voice very nearly a whimper. He looked entirely mortified, though it was impossible to tell if it was because of what he’d done, or the fact that he was admitting to it.
“It didn’t really help,” he muttered glumly.
Ed trusted him. Ed trusted him enough to talk about this. He ought to say something, do something. After all, Ed was obviously suffering. This didn’t need to be about his problems. This was about making things better for Edward.
“Well, what did you try?” He asked, masking the way his breath caught with a feigned cough.
“Uh… I…,” Ed’s eyes squeezed shut, blushing harder, “my hands. I mean, what else is there?”
He never should have asked, because Ed’s words wrapped around him like something liquid and devious, etching thoughts in his mind. Shoulders slumped forward, long bangs in his face as he hid away, embarrassed and ashamed, even as he bit his lips to keep from crying out.
"Ed, have you thought about trying some of the things you've done to yourself with another person?"
Ed sputtered and blushed harder, "Who would I do things like that with? Besides, I wouldn't have time to you know... be with them anyways."
“Not all situations like that have to be a conventional relationship,” Hughes replied, watching Ed’s expression shift from nerve wracked to somewhat thoughtful.
“I really…don’t know anyone I could…you know… do that with.” Ed responded dismally, completely unaware of the ways he was playing right into the hands laid out in front of him.
It wasn’t too late. He could still send Ed back to his own dorm, armed with advice, and not robbed of his innocence. Still, what good would it do? Ed would still be a frustrated bundle of frayed nerves. At least here he was cared for and safe. Who knew what sort of mess Ed would get himself into if he ran off now?
It had nothing to do with the way Ed looked, young and vulnerable. It certainly was not Ed’s lazily splayed thighs or nervous, oblivious half smile that kept him from doing what any adult should have done. This was the right thing for Ed.
“Can you think of anyone you really trust?”
Ed snorted at that, “Winry would throw a wrench at me… and… she’s my best friend. I couldn’t do that. Not with her.”
“Winry isn’t your only friend, you know. Would you trust me to help you with this?”
Ed’s eyes grew wide as he contemplated the offer. “But you’re married,” he finally replied.
“Which means, of course, that no one would feel obligated to turn this into any sort of relationship. It’s pretty much an ideal solution. You will get all the perks and none of the drawbacks.”
“I just… I don’t want you to get in trouble for helping me,” Ed squeaked out.
“Edward, you should just worry about you. I’m your friend and I want to help you. It doesn’t have to be a big deal.” Hughes smiled reassuringly.
“I guess so,” Ed choked out, staring at his feet. “What…are we going to do?”
“Just relax, okay?” Hughes moved to sit beside Edward. One hand rubbed soothing circles across his shoulder blades, waiting until Ed relaxed against the motions of his palm. He slid the other across Ed’s front, fingers barely skimming Ed’s belly beneath his shirt, gently pulling him closer.
Ed’s breath caught, but he said nothing, clearly waiting for some cue from Hughes. “You’ve used your hand before, so why don’t we start there?”
Ed bit his lip, nodding shakily. Hughes ignored the urge for more, harder, faster, and eased the snap on Ed’s pants open with a forced sort of slowness.
His fingers edged into Ed’s pants, at first between leather and fabric, and he listened to the hiss and catch of Ed’s breathing as he pressed and stroked Ed’s boxer covered skin. Ed’s eyes slid shut, though he was still trembling, a delicious, uncorrupted innocence about him.
Golden orbs flew open as his fingers found their way under Ed’s boxers, lightly rubbing over his cock. The startled look faded, and Ed sucked air in through his teeth as Hughes stroked more firmly, shifting his wrist as well as he could amidst the confines of Ed’s pants.
“This would probably be more comfortable without those in the way,” he suggested, motioning with his other hand to the leather Ed was clad in.
Ed froze for a moment and then nodded, standing long enough to pull off his boots and pants, staring very firmly at the ground like he was still too ashamed to meet Maes’ eyes. That was fine. It soothed the vicious need that wanted something young and untainted.
Ed returned to the bed, then, flushed and embarrassed, and needy, allowing himself to be guided to the mattress, a steadying hand at his back, and fingers lingering along his waistline.
Ed leaned into him, and the world seeped away except for the heat of bronzed skin, and sharp, staccato breaths of a boy who’d never done this before. That in itself, could almost be enough. Almost.
An automail palm slid shakily over the hand he was stroking Ed with, as if the he was too shy to touch with flesh and blood. Maes thought he might say something, but Ed barely even met his eyes, chewing at his bottom lip like he wanted to ask something, but was just too embarrassed. It only served to make the lust that stabbed at Hughes a little sharper.
Ed shifted on the mattress until he was almost facing Hughes, lips parted in a silent plea. His human hand, finally lifting from its spot on the bed came to rest hesitantly on Hughes’ shirt, and he sucked in a deep breath before he spoke.
“Can I?” came the almost silent whimper, the words lost in a soft moan as he rocked into Hughes’ palm. Maes smiled kindly at Ed, hoping it was enough to mask his eagerness. This was for Ed. It had nothing to do with… anything else.
Ed’s hand slipped down the front of his shirt, fingers catching on buttons. Ed jumped a little each time, as if the fact that he was touching someone else startled him. By the time he reached Hughes’ belt, though, he was schooling the panic from his features. He pulled gracelessly at leather and fabric to get it loose, grinning childishly at the small victory.
He clammed up a bit when he reached Hughes’ zipper, but a hand rubbing his back seemed to be enough to relax him again. Hughes shut his eyes in something like bliss as small, shy fingers slid beneath his waistband, fondling bare skin.
Hughes fought to keep his breathing steady, allowing Ed to shift his wrist experimentally. He moved to pull his own pants down, to make things easier, and Ed froze again for a moment, as if the gravity of what was happening had just hit him.
“Shh,” Hughes soothed, palm sliding beneath Ed’s tank top to stroke his back. Ed eased into the touch, eyes slipping shut.
He felt more than saw Ed grow braver, a little more sure. He imitated the way Hughes’ hand moved over his length, biting his lip as if it might keep him lucid a few minutes longer.
The way Ed squirmed and writhed, unpracticed and inexperienced only egged Hughes’ lust onward, dangerously nipping at his control. He wanted. God, he wanted, and let himself be taken in by the arrhythmic jerking motions of Ed’s palm.
“Ohhh,” Ed moaned, shivering as he began to forget himself. In the end, it was Ed’s strangled, helpless murmurs that pushed Hughes over more than the movements of his hands. It was too much, and Ed tensed beneath his palms, crying out and arching in his fingers.
They sat in silence, panting and gasping for breath. Only when his heart was no longer racing, and he was half asleep against Hughes’ mattress did Ed seem to remember he had no pants on. He blushed bright red turning away to find his pants. He seemed unable to meet Hughes’ eyes as he pulled his wayward clothing back on.
“I should… Al is probably back by now,” he stuttered, shaking his head as if to dislodge the crimson from his face by force.
“Have a good night, Edward.” Hughes offered.
“You too,” Ed forced out. He’d almost reached the door when he paused, turning to the dorm’s other occupant.
“Thanks,” Ed squeaked out, his voice little more than a tight whisper.
“Any time, Edward.”
The door closed with a quiet click, and he was alone again, with only the realization of what he’d done to keep him company. It shouldn’t have happened, but at least if it was Ed, it wasn’t Elysia. At least Ed was halfway grown. Guilt roiled and hissed in the pit of his stomach. There was nothing that could make this right. Ed’s soft, unsure whimpers still echoed in his ears leaving him cold with the knowledge it wouldn’t be the last time.