There wasn't such a thing as equivalent trade. Life was fundamentally unfair and he drank to that sad conclusion, utterly lonely on his bachelor party that no-one had attended.
FANDOM: Fullmetal Alchemist
PAIRING: Roy/Ed, Al/Winry, Hawkeye/Havoc
GENRE: Angst, drama
WARNING: yaoi, spoilers, angst, deathfic, language, sexual references
DISCLAIMER: Nor Fullmetal nor its characters are mine, no money is being made here so don't sue or whatever.
SUMMARY: There wasn't such a thing as equivalent trade. Life was fundamentally unfair and he drank to that sad conclusion, utterly lonely on his bachelor party that no-one had attended.
It had been six weeks that Edward had left and Roy could swear he still smelt his scent in the house. Each time he went to bed, this strange combination of automail oil, vanilla shampoo, road dust and something kind of tangy permeated his nostrils, no matter how many times he had changed the bedding. It was driving him crazy. But that wasn't the worst, far from it.
Fullmetal was assaulting him in each of his senses.
There were mornings when he would see him in the mirror, leaning on his back, messy golden bangs brushing his shoulder. Each time, he would abruptly turn around to gather the smaller alchemist in his arms, and each time the ghost had already disappeared.
Often he would hear his voice, seeming a little rough from crying out Roy's name in passion. Each time he would answer it, and each time his words would be lost in the palpable silence.
Sometimes, just before falling asleep, when insomnia didn't plague him, he would feel the fleeting touch of a metal hand on his stomach, or a hot breath on the fine hairs of his neck, but when he tried to snuggle back against his lover, his bare flesh would only encounter cold sheets.
It would even happen that he woke with the taste of Edward on his tongue, like all those times when he would get to sleep without brushing his teeth, after swallowing the young man's seed. Not exactly a pleasant taste but a sweet one nonetheless.
He felt bloody haunted.
He was getting married the next day and wasn't even sure he would be able to perform for his wife on his wedding night. It would be a severe blow to his reputation if such news fell on the wrong ears. He would be the laughing stock of Central. The good thing with marrying a virgin was that she probably hadn't great expectations on bedroom matters. It didn't make him less worried. For all of his flirting, Roy hadn't had another lover since he began sleeping with Fullmetal. He never felt the need, as Edward was more than satisfying in bed. So delectable even that he couldn't picture himself with anyone else.
How could he sleep with Belinda when all he wanted was Edward? How could her slender hands compare with slick metal and hard calluses getting tangled in his hair? How could her sweet curves replace muscular thighs tightening around his waist? How could her soft belly supplant hard planes and well-defined abs stroking his cock? How could her warm cavern sheath him like lovingly yielding burning walls? How could her chocolate locks eclipse the sun of golden strands? How could her tender murmurs drown harsh sighs released in the highs of passion? How could she take Edward's place when she was nothing like him, nothing like the man he needed more than he needed the very air he breathed?
It was all so unfair. He would never have guessed that doing the right thing would be so difficult. He had known from the start that it would end this way, but he hadn't guessed how much he would become addicted to Edward. He shouldn't have let it go on for four years. And if he was honest with himself he knew that his obsession had begun even earlier than that.
He remembered perfectly the very first time he had laid eyes on the boy who would become the infamous Fullmetal. A mangled kid seeming far much too fragile and innocent to be the one having attempted the forbidden human transmutation. Golden bangs framing delicate features. Bronze lashes, unbelievably long and thick, shadowing the pale skin of high cheekbones. Lips slightly parted around a sweet sigh slowly exhaled in sleep. He had appeared so pure and ethereal. A fallen angel worthy of being worshiped.
When he had seen him again, months later in Central, he was completely changed but no less fascinating. It was the first time Roy had been subjected to the legendary glow of the boy, the same one which would later bring him to his knees. Mustang had always considered himself as an hedonist, taking pleasure wherever it was. But here was a line he didn't want to cross. Edward had been twelve, far too young to be seduced. So he had bid his time, putting a hold on his inappropriate want and watched the young alchemist grow and mature -well not much of the former but still.
Each day Edward seemed to grow more attractive. When he finally reached fifteen, he was downright gorgeous and Roy had unlashed three years of pent-up desires and frustration. It had been on a late night at the office. They were on the middle of an argument as usual, the boy's cheeks were flushed and his golden eyes bright. Roy had never seen him more lovely than this night, beautiful as sin. Then Edward had pouted and it had been the Flame Alchemist's downfall. Before he knew what he was doing, he had latched on the unsuspecting teen and kissed him breathless.
From there it had been like a downhill spiral where each taste of the golden boy put a new shiny nail on Roy's coffin. He knew perfectly on how many levels this relationship was wrong but he couldn't stop himself. He knew that love between men couldn't ever lead anywhere. He knew that both of their careers were on the line. And above all, he knew that Edward deserved so much better than himself. However, he was already too far gone and nothing seemed powerful enough to pull him off of the man who had become his very reason for living.
The following years had been the happiest in Roy's life. He often thought that simply being near Edward was enough, as his presence alone had a warming quality that he hadn't ever encountered in anyone else. When he had been on the verge of adulthood, the vertically challenged alchemist had already been an enchanting creature, but as a man he was purely and simply a God. Roy's personal one. At least, it was what he would have liked, but losing an eye hadn't made him blind. He saw perfectly well that the mysterious Fullmetal's aura attracted, not only himself, but mostly everyone around.
Along the years, he had observed all the people Ed frequented developing a crush on him at one point or another. It had been fun. As long as the boy was his, he could be generous enough to let other people bask in his sheer vibrancy. After all, he couldn't blame them for being entranced by the same utterly lovable being whom had attracted him in the first place. However, the full realization of this phenomena had only come on Al's wedding. Roy had spent the day watching women cooing at his oblivious lover, and that had made him deliriously mad. He had wanted to grab the young man, drag him all the way back to Central and make love to him for days long to renew his ownership.
It was then that the voice of his conscience, which he had managed to silence some years ago, started to speak again. It sounded awfully like Maes, and this fact alone would have been enough to freak him out if what he said hadn't been so disturbing. Sadly, Hughes appeared to make as much sense in his head as he had, when he had been alive. He reminded him that Edward wasn't -and never had been- his, and that it was past time he let the young man go. Convincing him that he would be much happier with one of the many sweet girls flirting with him. Ed deserved someone he could love in broad daylight, someone who could give him the warmth of a home resounding with children laughs, someone who wasn't so jaded as Roy himself. He had always known that. He had enjoyed Edward as long as he could, but it was past time he released his hold on the young man. It was the right thing to do. It didn't make it any less painful.
Maes's voice had been a constant presence the following months, while he tried to find the courage to end it all. It had driven him half mad but had strengthened his often faltering resolve. He had looked for a suitable woman, one who would benefit his ambitions to become Fuhrer, thinking that if he chained himself to someone else, he would be less tempted to go back after Edward once the break-up would have been consummate. Then, had come the time to break the news to his lover. He had been cold, matter-of-fact, but for all his strength of mind, he hadn't been able to watch Edward go. He had had to turn his back to hide the shameful tears which bathed his face and leave the house, unwilling to witness the young man gathering his things.
It had been the right thing to do. So why couldn't he forget the hopeful expression on his lover's face while he explained to Roy why they should move in together?... There wasn't such a thing as equivalent trade. Life was fundamentally unfair and he drank to that sad conclusion, utterly lonely on his bachelor party that no-one had attended.
He was already satisfyingly plastered when there was a knock on his door. A glance to the clock, marking nearly midnight, confirmed that, if it was a guest, he was more than fashionably late. He still hoped. No-one deserved to be alone on the night they buried all their dreams of love and happiness, not even such a bastard as himself. He hauled himself as far as the door, on not so stable legs, and unlocked the bolt.
He hadn't expected the fist coming crashing down on his face -even if he was the first to admit that he had deserved more than his fair share of punches in his thirty-five years of existence. He shook himself off of the floor, on which he had landed not too gently, more for having been caught unaware than anything -even if being drunk off his ass was certainly an aggravating factor. He tried to identify his attacker through one single bleary eye end was surprised to meet the furious gray pupils of the younger Elric.
"Alphonse! Pleasure to see you could attend, even if you are pretty late. I am afraid I already begun the party on my own. Edward isn't with you?"
It probably wasn't the thing to say as it seemed to change the young man's anger into a blind rage. Al leaped on the collapsed General and grabbed him by his lapel before striking him another punch, much more forceful than the first one. Mustang was becoming dizzy and all these fast motions were beginning to upset his stomach. He groaned piteously and took long calming breaths, before turning a questioning face toward his furiously shaking aggressor. He could surely take a beating, but the less Alphonse could do was explain to him the reason why, as he didn't remember ever having offended the man.
"How could you do something like that? Hadn't you hurt him enough as it is? Sending him your wedding notice was already pretty inconsiderate, but inviting him to your bachelor party was just... hateful! What did you expect? That he would come celebrate with you? That he would drink to your new found happiness? Maybe that he would tumble a last time in your bed in memory of the good times? How come anyone could be so heartless?"
That wasn't admittedly the better comeback Roy could have come up with, but he was trying to understand what Alphonse was talking about? Surely, Ed wasn't stupid enough to brag about the relationship they had shared, now that it had finally ended? Not after they succeeded in keeping it a secret for four years. And what was it with Fullmetal being hurt?
"I don't know what you're talking about Alphonse. There is no reason why my getting married should concern Fullmetal..."
Alphonse was now looking at him like he had just lost his mind and this expression alone was enough to interrupt him. It probably wasn't the best of times to be drunk. The fuzzy feelings surrounding his brain seemed to impede his usually sharp thought process. Even with all his concentration, he didn't seem able to comprehend what had the younger Elric so worked up. What's more, if Edward was the one hurting, for whatever reason, why wasn't he the one bashing Roy's face in? It wasn't like it hadn't been one of Fullmetal biggest goal in life, nor like he was the kind to hide behind his younger brother. He was evidently missing a crucial piece of the puzzle. Now if Alphonse would be so kind as to enlighten him...
"There is no way you could think that Edward would be accepting of your wedding coming only a month after you broke a years long relationship."
"I didn't know you were aware of this thing between your brother and myself. But you have no need to worry. It was nothing more than a fling for Edward and I put an end to it before it became anything serious..."
This particular comment granted him a barely human growl from Alphonse who came plummeting on him with raging fists. Roy was glad for all the alcohol previously ingested, which now served to somewhat deaden the world of hurt he would undoubtedly find himself on the morrow. The younger Elric could sure pack a mean punch. The General idly wondered how he would explain all the bruises to his father-in-law on the following day.
Between the sharp sounds of flesh meeting flesh, Roy was sometime able to catch the litany of words -mostly insults- the young man drowned him in.
"Fucking egoist... oblivious to people's feelings... complete bastard... hurting Nii-san... damn pervert... "a fling" he says..." And so on.
When punches stopped raining on Roy's battered body, Al wasn't more than a flurry form behind the single eyelid which couldn't open all the way. Mustang managed to catch, through strongly ringing ears, the disgusted snort coming from the other man, before the front door slammed shut after him.
Busted lips let out a relieved sigh and Roy started on asserting the damage. He concluded that he wasn't in any condition to move and reasonably decided to stay on the floor. While waiting for sleep to come, he tried to make sense of the events which had just occurred. Even if Alphonse blamed him for seducing his brother when he had been fifteen, he had to see that Roy had done the right thing in freeing Edward.
Love between men was hopeless, as the Flame Alchemist had learned himself the hard way. He remembered again the naive young man he had been all those years ago. Unsure of himself and ignorant of the way to tell his best friend he was in love with him. He had adored Maes, with all the passion one could expect of young love. For all his doubts and hesitancy, it was a sweet feeling or it had been, until the day Maes had announced him he had met the woman he was going to marry. That had crushed all his young and foolish hopes and gave him his first important lesson in life. Men couldn't fall in love with each other, they were meant to be with women, to marry and to have kids. That was how the world worked.
Edward could have liked all the things they did together, but there fatally would have come a day when it wouldn't have been enough. He would have need things that his old male lover couldn't give him and he would have left. Roy had just sped up the process in taking the decision all by himself. After all, Fullmetal was generally so oblivious to the world around him that he needed to be made aware of the reality, as harsh should it be. Someone had to show him that he was old enough to become a part of society. Old enough to begin the search of the perfect young woman who would make him happy. Old enough to stop fooling around with bitter older men. And who better than the very man who had stolen his innocence to give him the necessary push in the right direction?
Oblivious... There was another thing that Alphonse had said. It was the second time in less than a week that someone called him oblivious. The first time had been when Havoc had turned in his resignation, just after Hawkeye herself. The first Lieutenant had chosen to follow his girlfriend who had been promoted to her own Office. In the end, Breda had been the only one staying under his command, and Mustang suspected it was more by laziness than loyalty. All the others had gone, pretexting various inane reasons. Mostly that now that he seemed to have granted himself the support of the Parliament, with his timely betrothal to the Prime Minister's only daughter, he didn't need their meager help anymore.
The defection of his formerly loyal friends had been a severe blow. Particularly when dealt so soon after his painful parting with Edward. He had been pretty numb at the time and that was probably why he hadn't plainly understood the meaning behind the parting words of Havoc. The young man had said something about him being oblivious and about Riza not having suffered enough that the story would have to repeat itself with the Boss. Even upon reflexion, that didn't made much sense for Roy and anyway he wasn't presently in any condition to dwell on this particular mystery.
After all, what could Riza or Ed possibly know on the matters of suffering? He was the one lying battered bloody and lonely on the cold floor of his living room. He was the one about to commit himself to a loveless marriage for the good of others? He was the one who had to rip his own heart apart to grant the happiness of the angel he loved. Colonel Riza Hawkeye was easily climbing the Military ladder without having to sell herself, while experimenting the joy of burgeoning love with Jean Havoc. As for Edward... not content with being the exceptional person he was, he was now free from his aging and formerly clinging ex-lover, with all his life before him... How could that compare with Roy's own suffering?