Four years and not a single date, not a single public appearance, not a single plan for the future, nor a single heartfelt confession. For all and every purposes they could just be mere fuck-buddies.
FANDOM: Fullmetal Alchemist
GENRE: Angst, drama
WARNING: yaoi, spoilers, angst, deathfic
DISCLAIMER: Nor Fullmetal nor its characters are mine, no money is being made here so don't sue or whatever.
SUMMARY: Four years and not a single date, not a single public appearance, not a single plan for the future, nor a single heartfelt confession. For all and every purposes they could just be mere fuck-buddies.
Ed was familiar with secrets. He was somewhat of an expert in this particular field. Since the day his mother died, he had had to keep a bunch of them, uncovered even more and basked in a frightening number. Even now that his brother was fully restored, he was still privy of many. It didn't really faze him anymore. He supposed it should, as he still remembered a time when he had been utterly honest and had despised all form of lies. When his most cynical, he took calculating his age not in term of years but by the accumulated vices gained since his previous birthday. Lying always scored fairly high. But for all the secrecy needed in his life, he had never seen himself as being a secret. Someone else's secret. Roy's dirty secret...
For someone supposed to be a genius, he could be unbelievably slow on the uptake. He really didn't know how he could have missed something this big. From the beginning of their relationship, the need for secrecy had always been an important point and he never contested it. He made himself believe in every reasons Roy had listed. They were fairly logical at that. Military would condemn them because of the fraternization part, friends and families would scorn them because of the age difference and society at large would ostracize them because they were both male. Yes all of that was completely logical.
Admittedly, in the beginnings, all of that had held true. He had been fifteen, Roy and himself had been in really precarious positions within the Military and, with how the country was being governed, people had been pretty narrow-minded. That had been four years ago. Nowadays, with the ends of conflictual times, liberties were gained each day. If homosexuality was still somewhat frowned upon, it wasn't anymore the taboo it had been. Moreover, Ed was of age since an entire year and if the age difference hadn't diminished, evidently, he was now legally considered free to choose whoever he wanted to date. Even the Military wasn't an obstacle anymore. Roy being a General and himself a Colonel, fraternization rules didn't apply to them in the same ways. And yet, their relationship was still being kept a secret.
That had begun to really bother him only recently. It was at the occasion of his brother's wedding. Roy had been on the guests list, of course and Ed hadn't seen what that would implied till the big day. A famous General like Mustang, what's more one with his Casanova's reputation, couldn't decently attend such an event without a date. Yet, Ed hadn't foreseen that. He had felt shocked and unreasonably furious at the appearance of his lover trailing a fragile brunette after him. Edward himself was supposed to be Scieska's date for the evening but it was mostly because she was Winry's bridesmaid and he was Al's best-man. She wasn't really his date-date as everyone would consider Roy's.
Ed knew that Roy still dated women. It had been one of the conditions for the continuation of their relationship. Roy had told that even if he didn't sleep with his dates anymore, retiring from the date scene altogether would be far too much out of character for him and grant him unwanted attention with the risk to reveal their particular relationship. Ed had accepted this explanation and tried his best to not let it bother him. That didn't change the fact that Roy was faithful where it mattered. What was the importance of a few dates against long passionate nights of wild sex?... nothing really... really! Moreover, it wasn't like Roy was flouting these dates in his face. No, the man was fairly discrete in this, as in everything he did. And as Edward still wasn't one for attending social gatherings and formal events, in spite of his new prestigious rank, Al's wedding was truly the first time he found himself in such an uncomfortable place as to witness his lover making goo-goo eyes to someone else.
He hadn't confronted Roy on the matter as he wouldn't be caught dead going in hysterics like some weak woman. That didn't prevent him from being jealous. Following this day, he began to reevaluate his relationship with Roy, and he didn't like what he found one bit... Four years, it had been four years that they had tumbled in bed together and done the nasty, and since then, their relationship didn't seem to have changed in the least. They still had petty arguments merely for show, they still had lengthy conversations on serious matters when no-one was listening and they still clung to each other like there was no tomorrow while having fantastic orgasms, but that was all. Four years and not a single date, not a single public appearance, not a single plan for the future, nor a single heartfelt confession. For all and every purposes they could just be mere fuck-buddies. Were they?
For all his expertise in secrets, relationship-wise Ed was a beginner. Roy was the only lover he ever had, so it seemed only logical for him to take the teachings of the more experienced man and let him lead the show. That didn't mean he had been passive or indifferent but merely that he was generally unsure of himself and afraid of doing something wrong. That was the reason why he never told Roy that he loved him. Roy never having uttered such a confession, Ed naturally concluded that two men in a relationship weren't supposed to get overly sentimental. He never even had thought for a moment that Roy could not share his feelings. Even if the General never confessed his love in words, it was there plain to see in every hot kisses, in every maddening caresses, in every breathless moans and every tender cuddles. That was what Ed had always thought, but now he was caught in a fearful doubt. Was it possible that Roy had this same attitude with all of his sex partners and wasn't as committed as Ed in this?
Ed thought about all of this for quite a while and after some time, he came to the conclusion that he would have to take actions. If he really wanted to have a bigger part in Roy's life it would fall on him to take the matter in his own hands. General Mustang was an important man and as such, a real busy one. He was still working to become the new Fuhrer and this particular goal was becoming closer each day. That unfortunately implied that he had an awful lot of things to do, people to meet, hands to shake and functions to attend. These last points weren't Edward's strongest ones, as he was much more used to wandering the country righting all the wrongs he could. Still he was not more of an idiot than most people and he had learned along the years that some social skills could prove useful. He also knew that when determined, nothing was impossible for him, as he had proved on numerous occasions. His goal would be to become the social partner of one Roy Mustang as he was sure that his presence in the man's vicinity would be an asset. His hidden purpose in that was evidently to replace the women surrounding Roy unnecessary when a much more suited ally was available.
However, Ed was aware that gaining this level of trust from Roy would take time. That was why, he gave himself first a much easier goal. Before invading the man's public life he decided to invade his private one. He had always found Roy's house ridiculously grand for a single man and had said so more times he cared to count. He himself lived in a luxurious apartment in Central and, if he could easily afford it with the salary generously allowed to him by the Military, it was clearly an unnecessary expense. It would make much more sense for the both of them to share accommodations. He said so to Roy while they were basking in the afterglow, suggesting without beating around the bushes that he wanted to move in with Roy.
"So you see Roy, with me always being on the roads -what with all the stupid missions you give me- my apartment is nearly always empty. And even when in town, I spent more time here than in my own bed. My apartment is no more then an overgrown closet. It would be much more simple that I bring all my stuff in here and make my moving in official."
Ed hadn't exactly expected the man to give in immediately, after all he was known to make even the simplest things overly complicated, but he sure as hell hadn't expected such a reaction. Roy had stopped his hand which had been leisurely caressing Ed's stomach and abruptly sat himself shoving his lover away in the fast motion. He was now staring the little blond as if saying "are you completely insane Fullmetal?" Edward was dumbstruck and suddenly very scared.
"What, pray tell, gave you such a ridiculous idea? How should we explain to people that two men who seems to hate each other guts since day one, have decided, out of the blue, to live together?"
"Yeah well... we don't really hate each other. That's just for show. People will be surprised of course but they will get used to it."
"I can't decently become Fuhrer if I am living with another man, a much younger man than myself at that. My Persona must be beyond reproach. And if you think your apartment is an unnecessary expense, you should move in with your brother and his wife in Rizenbool. They would be delighted I'm sure and it is not like your presence is often required in Central. After all you are a free agent for the Military. As you put it, you're always on the run anyway. You would just have to come in here from time to time to give a report."
Edward had sudden difficulties to breath. Surely Roy couldn't mean that. He couldn't dismiss him simply like that. He couldn't think that Ed would move back to Rizenbool and be happy seeing his lover every other day. That was nonsense. Roy would miss him if he did something so stupid. The man would be all alone. Surely he hadn't say that seriously, that was a joke, that had to be a joke...
"...But Roy, what of us? I mean you and I wouldn't see much of each other if I lived in Rizenbool and..."
"That could be a good thing Fullmetal. As it is you take far too much of my time and I of yours I'm sure. This thing went on much longer than I thought it would. Sure it was a pleasant arrangement while it lasted but it isn't like it could go on forever. We both knew that. It is past time for me to begin thinking of marriage, as much as I really don't want to contemplate that. As for you, you should seriously consider getting a girlfriend. What of this girl whom with you attended your brother's wedding? Scieska is it? She is kinda cute. Didn't she work for the military at some point?"
"Scieska?... Ye... Yes she did, but not anymore. She is Al's assistant now, but she's just a friend, I never..."
"Well if she is not your type, no need to dwell on it. Maybe you'd go for more exotic looks. Your other friend Rose would be perfect in this case. It sure could be difficult with her kid but she's beautiful enough to bypass that problem I suppose."
Ed felt like he was sinking in a nightmare. He refused to think about the fact that his lover, the man whom he was desperately in love with and had been faithful and devoted to for four years was suggesting him potential girlfriends. That was far too surreal.
"That is not the problem Roy I am not interested in girls. I am interested in..."
"...boys? You shouldn't! It sure can be amusing for a while but that is not how the world works. Men are meant to be with women. You will have a far easier time if you understand that now, believe me. And you haven't even yet tried women so you can't really tell that you don't like it. You are an handsome young man after all, women will all fall in love with you if you just give them a chance. I am sure you could have even more success than I ever had."
Ed hadn't mean that he was interested in boys but in Roy, only in Roy. But while earing the opinion his lover had on same sex relationships, he wondered if he wouldn't have been horrified had he managed to end his statement. He was beginning to think that Roy and himself didn't share a secret relationship, but that he, Ed, was Roy's dirty secret. The man seemed to be ashamed of him. Foolish or not, Ed was now really contemplating going in hysterics, but would it help anything? He had just witnessed how the love of his life was viewing their relationship and that sure wasn't a pretty sight. How could their feelings be so far apart? Was he always just a game for Roy while he himself had given it his all? Had he lived the past years in a carefully created illusion? Had he deluded himself in believing he was in love when he was just experimenting his sensuality with a willing but detached partner? But if so, why was he feeling so hurt, like something was ripping his heart in shreds since Roy had evoked the possibility of him marrying some other woman?
There should have been words to be uttered, explanations to be demanded, arguments to be given. But Ed had been rendered speechless by the easy dismissal of the sole concerns he had managed to communicate. The silence was growing uncomfortable and Roy had begun to fidget. That was something that had always amused him that Roy for all his confidence seemed invariably upset when in presence of a silent Ed. It was as if he feared that his lover was scheming an evil prank at his expense or something. Back in the days, way before they became lovers, that had often been the case, except when he was simply depressed, and Roy seemed to have kept the habit. Yet today his lover's uneasiness didn't amuse Edward, it frightened him instead. Even more when Roy left the bed and began putting his clothes together.
"What are you doing?"
Ed winced at the hesitancy in his voice. That was pathetic, he sounded like he was going to burst in tears anytime now. He hadn't stuttered in presence of Mustang since those embarrassing first weeks of sexual discoveries when he was fifteen. Roy didn't turn and finished putting his clothes on before responding in his ever smooth yet authoritative voice.
"I have an early appointment Fullmetal and as fun as this little morning roll was, I can't risk being late. I expect you to lock the door behind you and assure yourself that no-one see you leaving my house. I think it would be better if we didn't see each other for a while. You have some vacancy time coming. Take it. You should go to Rizenbool, it would be the occasion to arrange new accommodations there. Goodbye Fullmetal."
And that was it. Roy walked out of his life like he hadn't taken the biggest place in it for years and Edward didn't even make a move to stop him. He stayed there frozen and uncomprehending, sure that he should be doing something but not knowing what. Dumped, he had been dumped, that was too unexpected a thing for him to come around.
Later he would probably questioned his reaction. While picturing himself in such a situation, he would have probably imagined himself raving and shouting, badmouthing Roy, throwing the tantrum to end all tantrums, or even bashing the bastard's face in before destroying all his things. That is how most people knowing him would have expect him to react when confronted with such a situation. But instead, he had stayed unmoving and silent while his entire world had crumbled around him. He had watched Roy go and he hadn't even cried. It could have been because he had matured more than he thought and that he had decided to take it like a man and not like some crybaby. But in fact it was simply that it was too big and that he needed to let the shock pass him by. Later... later when the world would have restarted itself, he would have a healthy reaction to all of this.
Slowly, like in a daze, Edward got up and gathered his scattered clothes before promptly dressing. He needed to go back to his apartment to pack if he had to catch a train for Rizenbool today. Before that he decided rounding Roy's house to pick up the stuff which had piled up along the years. There were incredibly few. Some clothes, a handful of books, a hair-tie, a hairbrush and that was all. Not even enough to fill a suitcase, less than he had carried around when he was traveling with his brother. It was sad to be able to summarize four years with so little. He hadn't even had his own toothbrush in this house. Roy never had bought him one and had never protested when he used his. Looking back he should have seen it as a sign. The only reason why he had brought a hairbrush was because Roy had only possessed a comb and he liked to brush Edward's hair once in a while.
Once Edward had gathered all his meager belongings, he rolled them in his much used red coat and left the house. He honestly forgot to be inconspicuous when exiting, but he thought of locking the door before letting the spare key in the letterbox. That had been another clue that in four years, Roy never gave him a spare key, making him knock on the door whenever he came and only allowing him to use the spare the time to lock the door after him, before returning it.
He went back to his apartment with the same apathetic feeling which had descended upon him since Roy chased him out of his life. He packed mechanically and went to the station. Still the world hadn't restarted itself. He sat heavily in the train to Rizenbool and thought confusedly that he should be getting angry now, or sad, anything... But he wasn't, he was just too numb for now, he didn't have the force even to respond to the teenagers mocking his size two benches behind his. He just had to go to Rizenbool like Roy had said. Al would know what he should do, he always knew this kind of things. He was the clever Elric, the one with a good head on his shoulders, not a foolish boy like himself. Yeah, Al would do what was needed, Ed couldn't, he was just too numb.